A Memory: Living Like the One Percent

The main condition for the design, we said to the contractor standing in our Knoxville back yard 15 years ago, is for the pool to look like it’s been here since the house was built, in 1926. Yes, he said, he thought he could do that. No vast expanse of boring white concrete pool deck, … Continue reading A Memory: Living Like the One Percent

Journal Entry: Confessions of a Christmas Control Freak

Is there any time better for derailing a self-proclaimed control freak than the holidays? I mean the Christmas holidays, and not the beachy summer vacation I’ve been coveting since we had our first cold snap, and forget about poetic hoary frost: I’m talking single digits, when the deck boards outside our back door explode as … Continue reading Journal Entry: Confessions of a Christmas Control Freak

Nostalgia and the Shipwrecked Mind: Righting the Boat

Every major social transformation leaves behind a fresh Eden that can serve as the object of somebody’s nostalgia. And the reactionaries of our time have discovered that nostalgia can be a powerful political motivator, perhaps even more powerful than hope. Hopes can be disappointed. Nostalgia is irrefutable.—Mark Lilla Should you doubt that bit of wisdom, … Continue reading Nostalgia and the Shipwrecked Mind: Righting the Boat