The Alchemy of Hope in the Age of Loneliness

“The dark is rising,” I say to my friend, Vanessa, a photographer who has called to tell me how a bird fell out of the sky and landed at her feet, dead, during her morning walk. She is obsessed with birds. She has hundreds of them in her freezer. Songbirds collected and given a second life captured in chilling, beautiful tableaus where they appear piled and presented like a cake, falling lifeless around the figure of a woman, or held in hand, the colours persistent, their forms perfect, even in death. “The birds are dying. They will continue to die. … Read more “The Alchemy of Hope in the Age of Loneliness”


In Search of the Practical Life

Cortes, a life. Photograph by Vanessa Filley

The are mornings where the sky turns orange and then pink and the ocean becomes so still it appears that it is the stable force and the sky is the tumultuous one. On these mornings, I am drawn like a sleepwalker, only awake, out the door and into the ocean. I stop for shoes. Rocks and oysters and barnacles will wake a person up from their dream life faster than coffee and far uglier.

In the summer, the light shines through my window just after 5 a.m. I have watched it now for nearly two years as it does it’s … Read more “In Search of the Practical Life”