The 100 Seconds to Midnight Notebook

As a LGBTQ+ writer and lifelong activist, I will share ideas or thoughts from my personal notebook (some with photos) to inform, uplift and build solidarity in this time of existential human crises, namely pandemic, equality/justice, and climate change. So many of us are suffering, anxious, or isolated. I have created a private Facebook group as well, where members will be able to reciprocate with their own ideas and thoughts. If you wish to join, click this link for The 100 Seconds to Midnight Notebook Facebook group.

100 Seconds – Part 2 of 2: The First Juneteenth During Pride Month 06/18/2021

Our new national holiday. Juneteenth, marks a landmark moment of black liberation, when federal troops entered Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved black people were freed (2-1/2 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation). As a gay woman, I’m also celebrating Pride Month, which honors the Stonewall […]

100 Seconds – Part 1 of 2: In Celebration of Pride Month 06/15/2021

“There Is No There There” — Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein (1874 –1946) was a free soul, a giantess of gay history and the arts (photo 1). As a novelist, poet and playwright, she eschewed the conventional narrative and the linear in her writing and in her choice of artworks, widely acknowledged as an important advocate/patron […]

100 Seconds – The Celtic Maze 06/11/2021

My Journey to Ballymaloe, County Cork, Ireland I was lost, and what’s more, driving on the “wrong” side of the road (for an American). I slowed down, rolled down the window, and stopped alongside a man with a sturdy walking stick. He laughed, then said “Ballymaloe, been there for dinner and scoops. Cailín, follow your […]

100 Seconds – Cornwall – Art and Literature 06/07/2021

“Your work is very organic,” an interviewer remarked to Barbara Hepworth (photo 2) late in her life. “It’s meant to be. I’m organic myself!” was the British sculptor’s succinct, though revealing, reply. Hepworth (1903-1975) has been characterized as an artist totally in tune with herself and with nature. Her sculptures evoke the play of wind […]

100 Seconds – Cornwall, its Elysian Tropical Gardens 06/03/2021

With its Gulf Stream influence, great gardens in Cornwall can splash out with tropical plantings and trees, that would shiver in winter or expire of frost elsewhere in the UK. For several days, I just wandered about — from the seacoast, to artist and writer haunts, and a selection of different inspiring green spaces. Let […]

100 Seconds – Honeyeaters of Australia 05/27/2021

As hummingbirds are New World birds, the niche of nectar-sipping birds is filled by fascinating other avian groups. Honeyeaters are part of the large avian family called Meliphagidae and are native to Australia, New Guinea, and New Zealand. This family includes 187 species, half found in Australia, including miners and wattlebirds. Here are a few […]

100 Seconds – Part 1 – Hummingbirds 5/24/21

A whirr of wings Motionless, as if perched on an invisible precipice Along with owls, hummingbirds are my favorite family of birds. They belong to the avian family Trochilidae; their closest relatives are swifts. The almost 340 hummingbird species are found only in the Americas. Traveling beyond the “New World”, the niche of nectar-sipping birds […]

100 Seconds – From a Hunting Ground to a World Heritage Site 5/23/21

My Passage to India Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan I thought long and hard about traveling to India — the difficulties of the journey, health and safety concerns, the thought of being immersed for ten days in a totally unfamiliar society and culture, whose people have suffered so much poverty and exploitation, where suppression of women […]

100 Seconds – 5/21/21

When at last I found Ithaca’s shore, I gave it all I had and all I have been. For like the poet, Sara Teasdale, I understood that in life one must barter…. “Life has loveliness to sell, All beautiful and splendid things, Blue waves whitened on a cliff, Soaring fire that sways and sings, And […]

100 Seconds – A Fine Madness 5/20/21

Astonishing Topiary of England and France Topiary is the art of clipping hedges and trees into ornamental shapes. Topiary is ostentation, whimsy, a compulsive impulse to have nature resemble geometric contours or animals. A fine madness of human creativity; however, the opposite of Japanese niwaki, which seeks through minute pruning and training to create the […]

100 Seconds – Gone to Soldiers 5/05/21

My Journey to the Lost Garden of Heligan, Cornwall, England There once was a place, a lost garden, that evokes Pete Seeger’s poignant song about the never-ending waste of human lives we call war: “Where have all the soldiers gone? Long time passing Where have all the soldiers gone? Long time ago Where have all […]

100 Seconds – Spirit Guide of the Cloud Forest 4/29/2021

The Quetzals of Monteverde, Costa Rica Somewhere on this earth, a place calls out to you, with an emotional power that could only be real. That place for me was Monteverde, Costa Rica in 1997. I came to Monteverde with the hope of seeing a rare, beautiful bird, the Resplendent Quetzal; during mating season, male […]

100 Seconds – Close-Up to Creation 4/25/2021

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Flowers Some artists speak directly to your heart, not just through the subject matter, but also in color, form, light, and viewpoint, an entirety of invention that awakens a personal meaning and delight for a lifetime. Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) is one of those artists for me. A print of her work called “The […]

100 Seconds – Your House is a Canvas 4/22/2021

My Journey to Charleston House, the home ground of the Bloomsbury Group I set off on a day trip aboard a sluggish train from London’s Victoria Station to the south of England. My destination: Charleston House, located in the village of Firle in East Sussex, not too far from Brighton. Charleston House hosted and housed […]

100 Seconds – Ten Million Whispers 4/17/2021

This post will be rather different. I felt compelled to write this piece and share it with you, given what is happening in our country. Your thoughts gratefully appreciated. I was born in 1946. WWII was over. Soldiers weren’t the only ones killed. No, this was a total war on civilians, and ten million Jews, […]

100 Seconds – Niwaki Gardens 4/14/21

Making a garden is a form of art and escape from human woes, letting nature carry, subdue, and astound us with its boundless beauty. Each garden reflects local culture and its individual gardener, a human creation that always should be organic and protective of wildlife. Of all garden styles, the Japanese garden is designed to […]

100 Seconds – Montezuma’s Oropendola 4/7/21

My Journey to a Central American Rainforest Most of us can instantly remember the scariest plane ride they’ve had. Mine was the short flight from the airport in Belize City to a remote rainforest eco-lodge, an enclave of elevated cabins and dining hall built on an ancient Mayan site. Over 300 species of birds have […]

100 Seconds – Sakura Sunday 4/4/21

In my spring garden, I gaze in rapture, each day new life, new blossoms of white or pink, first peach, then apricot, pear, and lastly apple, each tree setting its own time to stir. It reminds me of Sakura, the ancient Japanese festival of cherry blossoms and the tradition of “hanami”, where people walk amongst […]

100 Seconds – The Southern Cassowary and The Dreamtime 03/29/21

My Journey to An Ancient Rainforest I joined a small group hoping to find one of the most astounding, endangered flightless birds in the world — its sanctuary, a tropical rainforest called Daintree in Queensland, Australia. The air in a rainforest drips, its humidity nearly oppressive, like a greenhouse gone feral, every scrap of light […]

100 Seconds – French Lessons for Gardeners 3/24/21

My Journey to Provence: Potagers and Lavender Fields My basement flat in London came with a modest outdoor space. For an unlimited quantity of Fosters and pizza, two Aussie brothers built me a rude potting up shed, made the garden access safe, and hauled off rubbish – a brew of bricks, rotten boards, and broken […]

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