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.

Wild Swans

100 Seconds – Wild Swans 3/6/21

I was well over forty when I saw my first wild swan. I was crossing a stone bridge in Cambridge, England, and below me were a pair of mute swans gliding past, the water rippling in their wake. Their bright orange bills were topped with a bulbous black knob. After that, I seemingly found them […]

100 Seconds – Garden as Art and Autobiography: My Journey to Frieda Kahlo’s La Casa Azul 3/4/21

Great art and music resonate differently with each person. A certain sound or visual world can touch your very being, rich with meaning and emotion, melding with your personality, gender identity, ethnicity, heritage, memories, relationships, even shared life experiences with the artist or composer. Frida Kahlo and her self-portraits resonate with me. I can identify […]

100 Seconds – Old Religions and Green Beings 2/28/21

I’ve often wondered why we humans thought up religion, which has benefited us with social adhesion, ethical ideas, solace, great music and art, but it has a lot to answer for. Religion plays a conspicuous role in intolerance, authoritarianism, violence, oppression of women and minorities, and war. Before the modern global mega-faiths, there were the […]

100 Seconds – Your Mind Is A Garden: My Journey to Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top House 2/23/21

Millions of children for well more than a century know the opening line of this magical story: “Once upon a time there were four little rabbits, and their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter.” The author, Beatrix Potter, was a gifted, original artist. Her books interwove the wild and human world in a unique […]

100 SECONDS – To Sleep, Perchance to Dream 2/17/21

All animals struggle to find adequate food in cold, dark winters. Around 12,000 years ago, our ancestors started planting wild varieties of peas, lentils, and barley, along with figuring out that herding animals for food and warm clothes was much more dependable than hunting or foraging. So, we humans rely on cultural solutions like inventions […]

100 SECONDS – The Beguilement of Winter 2/12/21

Winter is often described as somber, dull, dreary, endless, best to avoid by staying inside and warm. The brief days and persistent nights can make us feel depressed, especially during this year of a terrible global pandemic. Maybe I’m a bit daft to love this season, but I find that winter’s magic and majesty lays […]

100 SECONDS – Why Camouflage 2/5/21

In the animal kingdom, camouflage is a key strategy to survive and breed by disguising one’s location, blending in, appearing as something one is not like a leaf or twig, melting into the background of colors and textures of plants and trees in order to avoid being eaten or increase the chance of getting a […]

100 SECONDS – The Most Beautiful Masterpiece 1/31/21

Creating a garden is a form of love, love for beauty and the gifts of the natural world. Gardening and growing your own food are activities that make us part of the sacred space of plants. Only outdoors, do I find revitalization and serenity, despite the tempest that rages around us. My garden has distinct […]

100 SECONDS – 1/29/21

Circum-horizontal arcs, or “fire rainbows” are refractions of sun or moonlight on plate-shaped atmospheric ice crystals. I couldn’t quite apprehend that this phenomenon of nature was real, not a virtual fantasy.

100 SECONDS – The Genius of Trees 1/25/21

In an unexpected summer storm, I dash underneath an old valley oak and look up at its thick, furrowed trunk pushing upwards to the sky, the hail bouncing off its spatulate leaves. Trees are so familiar to us, but too often we view them as simply objects, background, or products, incapable of awareness, memory, feeling, […]

100 SECONDS – THE CURE OF TROY 1/20/21

THE CURE OF TROY by the great Irish poet, Seamus Heaney, is oft quoted by our new President Joe Biden, as it touches the heart of rising above hate and violence; and in doing so, imagine hope and heal each other. Human beings suffer. They torture one another. They get hurt and get hard. No […]

100 Seconds 1/18/21

I came across cold winter’s delight A frozen droplet clinging to a twig A glowing promise of spring to come.

100 Seconds 1/15/21

My favorite Franz Schubert song from “Winterreise” is called “Der Lindenbaum” (The Linden Tree). Another name for this tree which often line avenues is the lime tree, said to have been present in Britain since about 7300 BC. A graceful, ample, wistful shade tree much celebrated in literature. Schubert’s song is set to the words […]

100 Seconds 1/13/21

I haven’t posted for a while, as I’ve been recovering from shoulder surgery and pondering last week’s events, the images of a violent mob storming the citadel of our democracy, emboldened and incited by a president who broke his oath to protect it. I wrote this four years ago, still so haunting today: “With an […]

100 Seconds 12/25/20

In painful times when rainbows shatter, take a little step. Do what you have to do, but little by little. Don’t imagine the future or mourn the past. Amble in nature with a companion or with your lifelong companion, yourself. Pick some home-grown carrots to roast for dinner. Clean your desk. You see, you are […]

100 Seconds 12/19/20

Starlings are often dismissed as an annoying, muddy brown bird, barely a notch above vermin. In the right light or with binoculars, I can discern their true, radiant colors — golds, purples, sea-greens, with touches of iridescent blue. In winter, these canny birds are thrilling to watch in synchronized flight above the stubbled farm fields. […]

100 Seconds 12/16/20

A watercolour of Charlie Mackesy, noted British artist and author of “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.” Awe, joy, respect, compassion, worth looking after.

100 Seconds 12/14/20

A pale light streams into my bedroom. I’ve been tossing and turning for hours. I sit up to witness the weeping willow glowing in the ashen light beyond the glass doors. The moon hovers above the fence line, drawing me in, as a few clouds skuttle across. I fumble for my notebook on the nightstand […]

100 Seconds 12/10/20

Remember to look closely and again.

100 Seconds 12/9/20

Eons ago, birds perfected a survival strategy for the winter chill, short days, and dwindling supply of insects. Migration, the mysterious and marvelous journey of birds seeking warmth, food, and suitable breeding grounds. It seems like in one day, all the swifts and swallows disappear from the sky. Instead, we hear the crisp honks of […]

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