Author: Isa Catto

The Tyranny of Busyness

““How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days.” — Anne Dillard Day in and day out I hear how busy everyone is.…

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Gift in Kind

My mother was conflicted about the holidays. She was a spiritual soul and quiet Christian and was attached to the rhythms of the Christian calendar. She attended church if the architecture compelled her, or if it boasted a great choir, but was never drawn to the built in community of a congregation. My sister and…

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Elk Paean

Over a foot of snow fell at our house these past few days, and there was enough moisture in the valley to shut down the remains of the Lake Christine Fire. Winter has been inaugurated and there has been a collective sigh of relief after a summer of fires, drought and record high temperatures. Fall…

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I AM AS MUCH AS YOU

These weeks have not been the nation’s finest. There have been millions of words written about the Kavanaugh/Ford hearings, and there will be many more now that he is confirmed. But I need to add my own voice to the choir. I was traveling with my son the day of the hearing and waited until…

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Portals

I believe in portals. The kinds that don’t require passwords, only presence. There are famous portals like the ones in the Narnia Chronicles or the Harry Potter series. I have portals of my own: my garden is one and Independence Pass is another.

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Irrational Obsession

I fit one artist stereotype quite well — I was never a math star. Far from it. I stumbled through pre-calculus and closed the door and assumed I would always bellyflop when it came to mathematics. When I took my place in the world of practical numbers -one fleshed out in spreadsheets, budgets,  and investment data – I realized I liked looking for patterns within the numbers and that…

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The Map is Not the Territory

We rely on maps to navigate earthly and celestial terrain, and I feel grounded, in control somehow, when I am pulled into a fabulous map. Oh here I am! There I will go!  And then there are maps for our internal landscapes and methods we call on to steer through spiritual terrain. Mine help preserve sanity and joy—and trek through heartbreak and confusion. But they were falling short of guiding me through my own brand of American angst.

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We are the People

This year I wrote our kids a New Year’s Eve letter and gave them two framed We the People posters designed by Shepard Fairey…

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Corollaries

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and the birthdays of two out of three of my favorite men fall in its wake. One belongs to our son, Duncan, the other to my late father, Henry. I think of Henry and his footprint in our era of belligerence and deliberate ignorance where men like him are scarce. My son reminds me of him — 

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#wetoo

“I want to inject them with a serum that makes them believe what I now know: that speaking is crucial, that you have to tell your own story simultaneously as you hear and respond to the stories of others, that education is not something you passively consume.” — Elizabeth Alexander I joined the movement and…

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