C = 2 π r

Robin L. Chandler, 2022

Where we lived, the settlers build their houses. Where

we drew fresh water, the oil companies sucked oil.

Where deer ran in countless numbers, we have a new

mall. Where the healing plants thrived; the river is

burning. Now, a fence cuts the road home. Next the sky

will be tethered, and we will pay for air.

From Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings by Joy Harjo

the demands of certainty lead inevitably to tragedy

Powerlock. Robin L. Chandler, 2022.

Obsidian is so sharp that you can use it to cut your lousy life to pieces, and then when you have the original parts, the real ones, you can put them back together and have a clean assembly of things and see the world as it is and always was, and get to work at last, before it’s too goddam late.

-A Nevada hermit living near Big Smoky Valley

Excerpt from the book The Paradise Notebooks: 90 Miles across the Sierra Nevada by Richard J. Nevle & Steven Nightingale

The Coyolxauhqui imperative is to heal and achieve integration. When fragmentations occur, you fall apart and feel as though you’ve been expelled from paradise. Coyolxauhqui is my symbol for the necessary process of dismemberment and fragmentation, of seeing that self or the situations you’re embroiled in differently. Coyolxauhqui is also my symbol for reconstruction and reframing, one that allows for putting the pieces together in a new way. The Coyolxauhqui imperative is an ongoing process of making and unmaking. There is never any resolution, just the process of healing.

-Gloria E. Anzaldua

Excerpt from the book Light In The Dark/ Luz En Lo Oscar: Rewriting, Identity, Spirituality, Reality by Gloria E. Anzaldua and edited by Analouise Keating

for our Grinnell

fragile and fleeting. Robin L. Chandler, 2022.

To live to mourn an ancient woodland, known

Always, loved with an old love handed down,

That is a grief that will outlast the griever,

Grief as landmark, grief as a wearing river

That in its passing stays, biding in rhyme

Of year with year, time with returning time,

As though beyond the grave the soul will wait

In long unrest the shaping of the light

In branch and bole through the centuries that prepare

This ground to pray again its finest prayer.

An excerpt from Wendall Berry’s A Timbered Choir, 1987: III

Today March 31, 2022 our beloved Grinnell, peregrine falcon and mate for seven years to Annie, passed away. Thank you Grinnell for gracing our lives and for giving us so many treasured moments. Life is so fragile and so precious. You will soar always in our hearts.

nature and nurture

Point Reyes. Robin L. Chandler, 2022.

“Did you know, Dad, that if you write the word ‘red’ in green and ask a small child to tell you the color, the answer will be ‘green?’ But if you show the same word to an adult, the answer will be red. Children see the color, not the word. Adults see the word, and not the color.”

I am an advocate for wild creatures, rare plants, arrays of native vegetation, clean water, fish, stewardship of natural resources, and learning. I believe these things are compatible with ranching, sometimes lost without ranching. Some people call me a cowboy. A lot of good cowboys call me an environmentalist. I suppose there are lots of labels you can attach to me. There was a time when doing so was hurtful, so I threw back labels of my own. We throw a lot of anger at each other with words. It doesn’t do much for the land, really.

The time has come to see colors, not words.

Excerpt from the essay Colors and Words by Bob Budd in Ranching West of the 100th Meridian: Culture, Ecology, and Economics

land of little rain

the east side. Robin L. Chandler, 2021.

It is thus that the novel takes its modern form, through “the relocation of the unheard-of toward the background…while the everyday moves into the foreground.” There is, however, an important difference between the weather events that we are now experiencing and those that occur in surrealist and magical realist novels: improbable though they might be, these events are neither surreal nor magical. To the contrary, these highly improbable occurrences are overwhelmingly, urgently, astoundingly real.

Amitav Ghosh The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable

departure and arrival

After a year confined, while Shiva created and destroyed, the open road beckoned. The horizon open, the land infinite, and my mind seemed lotus-like, unbound.  And Earth shared: sky, mountains, trees, deserts, meadows, and rivers. My soul replenished: hope glimmers.

Clockwise: Thunderstorm over Wheeler Peak, Taos, NM; waterfall at Whitney Portal, Lone Pine, CA; sentinel trees at Whitney Portal, Lone Pine, CA; monsoon over Mt. Langley, Lone Pine, CA; and the San Francisco Peaks from Bonita Meadow, Flagstaff, AZ. Watercolors by Robin L. Chandler, 2021.

“This bird has flown”

For All Time. Robin L. Chandler, 2021.

Patiently we live stream, waiting for Wek’-Wek’ the last Peregrine chick to fledge from Sather Tower.

On nearby Evans Hall, his brothers Fauci and Kaknu, and his parents Annie and Grinnell encouraged the youngster to join them.

At last, “this bird has flown.”

So the story ends, and so it begins.

In this our lost year-of-Covid, Annie and Grinnell have raised two families and unknowingly shared their intimate life with a world of humans. 

In darkest March 2020, these beloved Peregrines were a gift to the imagination when four walls defined our world. With joy we watched as Annie laid her eggs, the chicks hatched, devoted parents provided food for their brood, and Grinnell kept the chicks warm at night while Annie took her rest. And then with excitement, in May 2020, we watched as the brothers Sequoia and Redwood flapped their wings, caught the wind and soared for the first time. And a few days later, with her brother’s encouragement, Poppy joined them and was airborne. And all was delight.

Another year has passed, and another family raised and fledged. Annie and Grinnell we thank thee for showing us that dedication and devotion will guide us through the darkness. Until next year dear Peregrines, good hunting and fair winds.