Life in the Trenches

A powerful scene in Pat Barker’s World War I novel Regeneration depicts a conversation between literary giants Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon as they convalesce at the psychiatric hospital at Craiglockhart, Scotland. Owen relates a poignant revelation he discovered in the trenches about life and loss: Sometimes, in the trenches, you get the sense of something, ancient. One trench we held, it had skulls in … Continue reading Life in the Trenches

Some years are just more memorable than others.

This year brought challenges and rewards. A look back at a busy 2019. I’m always amazed at other scholars who keep their websites up-to-date. Perhaps they manage their time better or work harder. This year, and in particular its second half, has felt like I’ve been on a carousel waving to the people in my life, waiting for a moment to stop and rest. With … Continue reading Some years are just more memorable than others.

Bridge at Manchac

One weekend in the summer of 2013, my wife and I decided to get out of the house and head to Middendorf’s, the famous catfish restaurant at Manchac. This is always a magical landmark for us, both culturally and geographically – the place where Coastal Louisiana meets the Deep South and the point where Lake Maurepas flows into Lake Pontchartrain. It is also the site … Continue reading Bridge at Manchac

Avebury National Trust Stone Circle

One of the more magical places that we visited in the summer of 2017 was the ancient stone circle at Avebury in Wiltshire. Maintained by the National Trust, it was our introduction to touring the English countryside after taking the Holyhead ferry from Dublin and driving to our accommodations in neighboring Hampshire. It is true that the stones are ancient but I found the contours … Continue reading Avebury National Trust Stone Circle

Oaks of St. Joseph in the Fog

My old friend Peter lives in Mexico most of the time now, but when he came back before Thanksgiving, the two of us headed up to Convent, Louisiana so I could photograph the Oaks of St. Joseph that line a magical sweep of the Mississippi River’s front across River Road from the Manresa Retreat House. I was concerned that I wouldn’t have enough sun, but … Continue reading Oaks of St. Joseph in the Fog

Gentle Pointers About Life Learned from Life with a Pointer: Remembering a Special Bird Dog

Greta, the day I brought her home in 2002. Like many moments that somehow change your life forever, I ended up the owner of a bird dog entirely by chance. An acquaintance whose father-in-law’s hunting dogs had a litter called to ask if I would like a free German Shorthaired Pointer puppy. I wasn’t familiar with the breed, but he emailed a few pictures of … Continue reading Gentle Pointers About Life Learned from Life with a Pointer: Remembering a Special Bird Dog