Voices

Jeremy Wilber memories

Jeremy Wilber memories

“This was once dense, dark hemlock forest. For millennia, sacred ground where the indigenous hunted, but would not live. Tanneries came in the mid-nineteenth century, cut ‘em all down, used the bark to tan leather, fouled the streams, didn’t replant. They put themselves out of business by the twentieth century, left a big mess. Not the sharpest tools in the shed. Thanks to Mother Nature and the state, it all bounced back within a decade, and the modern Catskills tourism industry was born. Which is sort of where you and I come in.”

Fear itself

Fear itself

I hear a growing number of towns have citizen pandemic patrols. Some jeer at such fears, but wallow within their own worries about the potential of a return to an Obama-like past. Or even the bad old scary days of the Clinton presidency.

Inverted vanity

Inverted vanity

No competency and achievement is safe from self-doubt. No proof is enough. That suspicion is a symptom of imposter syndrome, wherein the afflicted feels unqualified to do any of the things they can, um, do, and suspects that their secret is always on the verge of being out, their jig up. It is by my estimation a worldwide epidemic.

Letter: Support the railroad

Letter: Support the railroad

“The Catskill Mountain Railroad has had dramatic success as a tourist railroad in recent years and has been a significant source of revenue for Ulster County. In 2019, its ridership was up nine percent to 41,115 passengers. Its revenues were up four percent to $1,490,000,” writes a reader.

Long autumn ahead

Long autumn ahead

The act of processing a deluge of information, most of it stressful, elongates time perception. It’s an evolutionary tic. Our brains are wired to take in more information when we’re stressed, so that if and when we’re in similar danger again, we’ll have copious information to keep us from perishing on the savannah. The aperture widens.

My gift to you

My gift to you

My parents were born during the Great Depression. They passed this fact on in stories, habits, and objects. Until her passing, my mom would keep washing sponges until they disintegrated in her dishwasher, or the dishwasher would break from all the sponge detritus it had collected over the years. My father would take back Christmas presents he’d given and  then regift them.

What we’re going through

What we’re going through

The age we are living in is starting to feel like an omni-trigger, a cosmic strategy to tease it all out right now. The great tabling of pathos and pathology may account for sharp spikes in suicide rates and opioid relapse, a marked uptick in Kingston gunplay, and in my general observations a soaring epidemic of ragged despair and public displays of end-of-rope rage against the air and sky!