Other Rivers, Other Voices

“The sound of water says what I think.”  Chuang-Tzu

Nobody believes in Charon anymore, not that it matters. No one has ever heard him grumble about his own invisibility. He has even gotten used to never sleeping. Too many deaths. Anyway, on every voyage his boat overflows with passengers. Long ago he became indifferent to the chorus of sullen mutterings from an endless queue of souls, all of them not wanting him to ferry them across the river to the other shore.

Read More

Angel Makers

A few autumns ago, in Copenhagen,  I encountered my first Angel Maker. Unaware of what an Angel Maker was, I met her sister shortly after, in Stockholm. The sister appears, painted on a wooden panel, in the Medeltidsmuseet, the Museum of Medieval Stockholm. It is displayed in a reconstructed medieval village with, among other attractions, a main square, a knight on horseback, a church, a gallows and a display of common crimes and punishments of the Middle Ages. These two angel makers are separated in time by several hundred years, but what they share in common is expressed in the Swedish word, Änglamakerska, that is, one who has made an angel out of a child by returning it to heaven, sometimes in gruesome ways.

Read More

Three Little Buddhas

Twilight in the green foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Beads of rain trickle down the windows of the studio. An iron-colored sky fades into a cold night. It’s the middle of the month of May, but winter has returned. So why does it feel like the world is on fire?

Read More