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Photograph by Sara Fox

The North Woods

 1I used to dream about the dark. I was usually in the woods in the dream. There was an animal nearby, the dim reflection of lake water pushing through the branches.This night was similar: dark sky, blackened pines, pinprick stars. The only ligh [...]

Photograph by David Ulin

Dancing Days

It’s Sunday morning in September and I’m walking Eighth Street when I see it: spray of words in green and pink, framed in the middle of the pavement as if an illustration of some kind. In the middle of the pavement?

This Land Is Our Land


This time, it begins after dark. There’s a solemnity that was absent from the previous day’s rituals, which I had witnessed when the sky was still light. “This time, we have to be serious. We can’t be jokey-jokey,” says Syafiq Dendi Abdullah, a twenty-six-year-old shaman and an activist- leader of Malaysia’s indigenous Temiar community.

Unmanned

  1. Serrekunda’s beach, the Gambia’s biggest tourist draw, empty again. Two years ago it was fear of Ebola. Now, political crisis, checkpoints, soldiers with AK-47s, bazookas. Alex Sesouy, a tourist guide, had time to talk. Still, he hesi [...]

Photo by Karen Ryan

Walking Away

  1. How about it? one of the men said to Karen on that first humid night in Tahiti, March 1970. The Endeavour II’s crew still numbered a few short. Her decision was immediate. She sent a letter to her supervisor at the airline she worked [...]

Photographed by Rachel Cohen

Cohen

March 1, 2018

  1.  “Actors” was painted by Max Beckmann in 1941 and 1942 when he was a refugee from Nazi Germany in Amsterdam. It is the painting I photographed most in the years we were living in Cambridge. I tried repeatedly to write about it, [...]

Photographed by Angie Cruz

The Other Chile (Cecilia & Patricia)

1. I misplace an earring in my hotel room in Santiago, Chile. So I ask the head housekeeper, Patricia, if anyone has found it: a silver lotus leaf, not valuable, but special to me because it’s a good luck charm.  “Nothing can get lost he [...]

Life Is Why

The average adult has eight pounds—twenty-two square feet—of skin. Healthy adults can lose a liter of blood before going into shock, and vital signs help monitor the onset and stages. Unlike adults, children can lose nearly half their blood volume and still have a blood pressure holding steady. With shock, “adult vital signs go up the mountain and then drop off,” our EMT instructor Nancy says. “Children’s are like, ‘I’m okay, I’m okay—DEAD.’”

Photo by Mirissa Neff

Neon Havana

1. Havana may be a metropolis of two million souls, but you wouldn’t know it by looking up: The night sky here boasts stars as dense and bright as you’d glimpse among the woods of Maine. For decades now, the city’s lack of electric light has [...]

Photo by BIll Driver

Dropping In

From the early ’60s to the late ’70s, the Desert Gardens Ranch nudist colony was secreted away in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains. This is Desert Hot Springs, California, two-ish hours east of Los Angeles. The story goes that the grounds were built as a hush-hush haven for Al Capone, and, after things went south for him, a pair of entrepreneurial nudists bought the place and set up shop. In its prime, Desert Gardens Ranch offered a lifestyle of seclusion and liberation, of year-round sun and bathhouses, an in-ground swimming pool and a water well for landscaping and, not ironically, laundry facilities.

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