Mooned in Colorado

Grasshopper Soup

In the morning I awoke to the train clumsily arriving in Denver with the blood orange sun rising in the east. Most of the night was spent alternating between sleeping across the seat I commandeered next to mine or sitting upright, lazy boy style. Neither of those strategies were too effective.  On a bus ride to New York City some years ago I arrived at a stop in Philadelphia in the same sedated state and I still can’t decide if I can say I’ve been there or not.  Denver looks tyrannically boring. I had read it is best to get a seat in the observation car upon departure from the “Queen City.” Apparently everyone else read this as the car was packed full of geriatrics. A tour guide soon grabbed the mic to narrate our journey and it became apparent he planned to rant for some time. He informed us…

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Dancing While Rome Burns

the literate lens

VanAgtmael2 Technically speaking, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are over. The last American forces pulled out of Iraq in 2011, and President Obama recently announced that all U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014 . But for many Americans, Iraqis and Afghans, the conflict lingers—whether in real terms (through suicide bombings and sectarian violence), in physical scars (there are at least 1,500 major limb amputees to date from both wars), or in psychological traumas that visit every time a car backfires or a firework goes off.

Magnum photographer Peter van Agtmael is intimately acquainted with the real-life stories behind these facts. In 2006, as a twenty-four year old Yale graduate in History, he set off for Iraq to photograph the war there. Over the next six years, van Agtmael spent large amounts of time in both countries, often embedded with troops who were being sent on risky…

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Stonehenge

Tatterhood

ruin:

/ˈruːɪn/

noun

1. 
the physical destruction or disintegration of something or the state of disintegrating or being destroyed.

What is the difference between the living and the dead?

On the surface, it is a simple question. At least, when it comes to our fellow humans (and other sentient beings) we are fairly good at differentiating. Breath, color, language, movement.

But what about stone? What about the rocks we shape and move; worship; commemorate; celebrate?

Whom among us can deny the spirit of a gravestone? Who could gaze upon the structure of Stonehenge and not hear the echoes of those ancient, well-kept secrets?

Well, as it turns out, there are plenty of people who can and do. I really don’t want to come off as condescending here, but my trip to Stonehenge today was, largely, infuriating. I stood on the circular path that encloses the site and watched hundreds…

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