Therese DesCamp

Wide Spot: So say the lichens

She was getting out of her van by the beach, clearly unnerved by the thick smoke in the air. “Did you hear that they’re evacuating all of Yellowknife?” I blinked; I didn’t know her from Adam, but she sure needed to talk. “Yes,” I said. I felt anxious too. But I know how to listen …

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Wide Spot: Don’t Kick

I had a list a mile long, I did, of plans for July. Not only family visits, but writing space, study time, a week-end board planning meeting, a personal retreat week. My overall longing for this month was for big blocks of quiet reflection time, something that’s felt sorely lacking during the last six months. …

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Wide Spot: Stung

Last year, my revered teacher made some unconsidered remarks to a board on which I serve. Part of the problem was that she didn’t recognize the competence of the people in front of her; that stung us. Another board member pointed out her misconception, and the group went on to vote in favor of the …

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Wide Spot: Sacred

When I was a kid, sacred was about church. It was the Lord’s Prayer repeated each Sunday; it was the consecration, the communion cup, the baptismal fountain, the ashes on the forehead. In Braiding Sweetgrass, the indigenous biologist and author Robin Wall Kimmerer recounts an observance enacted daily during the summer months that her family camped …

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Wide Spot: Bull’s Eye!

I recently participated in a difficult conversation. The conversation was difficult primarily because I responded badly to a remark made by the other person. Since this person is the one with whom I cohabit, it is not the first time I reacted in this way. Regrettably, it is also probably not the last time that …

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Wide Spot: Give Up

Some of my friends are just fine. They are doing exactly what they love, making music or mentoring younger people or hiking all over the mountains. They are joyful and creative and it’s fun to be with them. I don’t know about the dark corners in the middle of their nights, but clearly, they are …

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Wide Spot: Thumper’s Advice

Forget the death of Bambi’s mother. The scene that riveted me in the movie Bambi was dark, tense, everyone staring at the rude little rabbit who was being reminded by his mother of how he was supposed to treat others. All my attention was on Thumper as he said carefully, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t …

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Wide Spot: Fair

Growing up number six in a family with eight kids, I put a great deal of stock in fairness. There was constant jockeying for my share of whatever was on offer—time, energy, dessert, privileges. I remember wailing at my parents more than once, “That’s not fair!” When I think about the engine that drives suffering—be …

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