I Can’t Believe I Still Have to Write About This

I recently finished Lindy West’s memoir, Shrill, and I don’t want this to turn into a book review, but I do want to tell you to go buy it. Right now. It was witty and funny and perfectly depicted the rampant sexism still ripping across this country. When West took on male comedians defending rape…

Slippery Rock Creek

You push that great red plastic hull into the water and watch it dip in slightly before floating on top. The kayak looks so artificial in that swampy muddy water as if anything so large and poignantly red could ever appear from the depths of nature’s own hand. You wedge your body into the little hole…

Eight Stages of Grieving

  1. Confusion: I woke up to my partner in a way I haven’t ever woken up to him before. We briefly touched hands. We were mostly silent. I held back tears as we read social media posts from our friends, some of which made me laugh. I was thankful not a single post was…

An argument for creative writing in a sea of journalism

[Full disclosure: I meant to go more deeply into Terry Tempest Williams’ talk than I did in this essay. I went into thoughts on the slow death of creative writing and those that are helping to kill it. The next essay will cover her talk in more depth.] If you’ve read my blog, my bio,…

Desert Notes

Waking in the desert must be like waking just before the world began. Every detail is slate blue and the horizon blends so seamlessly with the pre-dawn sky that it is difficult to tell where earth ends and atmosphere begins. When the sun blooms from the bellies of distant canyons, the whole world comes to…

Why Unpaid Internships are Inherently Classist

I recently had an interview for an internship with an environmental company I really admired. They needed someone to run their social media, write blog posts, create and edit videos and a handful of other media related responsibilities. The interview was going really well until about halfway through when she said, ‘let’s talk about compensation.’ “This…

Returning to the Earth

   These last few weeks have been hectic. Every project for every class is due in about two weeks. This means scheduling interviews, driving hours to and from the interviews, praying to the journalism gods that my sources don’t cancel on me, like they seem to do every single time. This means running to and from…

Insomnia

Your body turns over, sloshes from one side of the bed to the other. Eyes that should fall heavy sit light and alert. You notice everything—the way the flannel sheet catches the dry skin of your big toes and tugs, pulling you. You hear the heater light and click on. Your shirt bunches beneath your…

The Oakland Manor | Pittsburgh

   “I will see the city poured rolling down the mountain valleys like slag, and see the city lights sprinkled and curved around the hills’ curves, rows of bonfires winding. At sunset a red light like housefires shines from the narrow hillside windows; the houses’ bricks burn like glowing coals.” –Annie Dillard; An American Childhood…

Learning to Ski in the Backcountry

I wasn’t nervous when I purchased the skis. I wasn’t nervous when I set them behind the door of my apartment next to the cardboard box with the heavy ski boots and bindings. I wasn’t nervous when I took them to REI to be mounted and the man behind the counter asked me how long…

Autumn Resonance

It started with a scent. A scent of rustled leaves beginning again as oblation, an offering to the succession of life and death. It blew through the open window and disturbed the steady breath of frosty mornings. Is this the disturbance wild geese feel? A row of cells divide and suddenly they are off, pummeling…