In Praise of Sadness

Written By: Erin Smith

January 18, 2022

  Ameneurosis: The half forlorn, half escapist ache of a train whistle howling in the distance at night. ~John Koenig, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows   Sometimes, very late at night, when the wind blows just right, I will hear a steam-engine whistle as a train crosses the tracks on Flanagan Station Road. To create […]

ART: Why Staring at Trees Might be the Magic You Need Right Now

Written By: Erin Smith

January 17, 2022

“There is always music amongst the trees in the garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.” ~Minnie Aumonier Last week I talked about the cognitive load of pop-up ads and scrolling banners on all sorts of screens. Our unconscious processing takes in each and every distraction, leaving us unable to concentrate […]

The Pixilated Vomit of Televised Sports

Written By: Erin Smith

January 17, 2022

    I do not watch televised sports, as the experience usually leaves me feeling more exhausted than elated. On New Year’s Day, I remembered why. My husband kept calling me into the living room to watch replays of the Citrus Bowl football game between Iowa and U.K., so I finally just closed my book […]

The Fifth Beatle was Heroin

Written By: Erin Smith

January 7, 2022

When I was a freshman in high school, I convinced my friend Leslie, a cool girl who played the cello, to drive me to school in exchange for gas money. Leslie had a crappy blue Chevette and, far more importantly, a copy of 1965’s Rubber Soul, arguably the best album ever made by The Beatles. […]

Survival is Insufficient

Written By: Erin Smith

December 26, 2021

  Survival is insufficient. ~Emily St. John Mandel, by way of Star Trek: Voyager   When I was young, my brother Ian and I had a secret lair and a code for entry. Our den was Ian’s closet, where we would sometimes pile up our blankets and pillows to create a cozy sleeping fort. Some […]

Mary, Mary, Full of Grace

Written By: Erin Smith

December 12, 2021

While the angels are singing his praises in a blaze of glory Mary stays behind and starts cleaning up the place. ~Patty Griffin, Mary    The year I studied abroad, my friends and I took a long weekend trip to the Vatican very close to Christmas. Various cardinals held public sermons throughout the day and […]