Blogs by Judith Walcutt

Minding the Sky || This May All Disappear

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs

“Perfect.” What a funny word! It means so much, to so many! But none can define it for themselves, let alone for someone else. What was perfect for me in a suit of clothes even a mere ten years ago, doesn’t feel or look perfect to me now. Why should it? We are volatile, vulnerable beings in a changing world.

And in a changing world, it behooves us to remember, even change wears a mask and plays at illusion. The wonderful French phrase: “Plus ça change, plus c’est le même chose” (the more things change, the more they stay the same) evokes a whiff of that overly heavy perfume conjuring the feeling of reeling in some kind of nightmare we can’t quite get the meaning of. Is this change? Or is this not only the same old thing, but the same old thing, and possibly worse?

Minding the Sky || Coming to Fruition

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Food

Summer is upon us. Fruit is ripening everywhere —cherries on the tree, strawberries in the field, raspberries in the patch, and blueberries on the bush—they are all coming to fruition. It is time to get out and get some of the bounty we have so readily available, right here, right now, where we live.

Maggie’s U-Pick at Featherstone Farm, which is located on Bailey Road in Clinton, has a changing assortment of offerings throughout the summer, all U-pick (contact Maggie at to be added to her mailing list). Bell’s Farm in Coupeville has been providing Whidbey with strawberries since 1946. They have a lot of other produce as well. The U-pick price for the berries is a great deal at $1.60 per pound. We have at least two on-island, certified organic blueberry farms. Mutiny Bay Blues in Freeland offers a variety of blueberry types, all of them full of flavor, a profound flavor, which is practically the Platonic ideal of blueberryness. Hunter’s Moon Farm, north of Oak Harbor, also organic, provides a U-pick option and has some raw honey available from the bees that pollinate their fields.

Minding the Sky: Down the Rabbit Hole

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Literary

I went to Kansas City on an exploration of possibilities, triggered by a conversation I had the last time I was there. At that time, I met up with one-half of the dynamic duo who created what was reputed to be the best children’s bookstore in the Midwest, if not the country, and possibly the world. The Reading Reptile, which Pete Cowdin and Deb Pettid started more than twenty-five years ago, was a hub for creative engagement in the world of children’s literature — for both readers and authors, who would appear there on a regular basis. The bookstore closed more than a year ago, and the founders are pursuing a new vision: It’s a big one.

Their idea is to create a fully immersive museum dedicated to literature for young people — and by fully immersive, they mean a life-size, walk-through of the book itself. Their organization, The Rabbit Hole, is hoping to have a building soon in which to build their dream: the world’s first Explor-a-storium — and a national center for the children’s book.

Minding the Sky: Look up!

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Feature

I have a confession to make. I am behind in my sky-minding. Lost in a mental clutter of this and that, I have forgotten to look up — to cast my eyes physically upward — to the sky and remind myself of what’s there and how it keeps changing. I think this simple action helps me remember that, like a famous fortune cookie once said, the only permanent condition in life is impermanence. That is the one thing we can count on — whatever is happening now, is changing even as I write this, even as you read it.

If you are in overwhelm, characterized by a clouded dither of should-a-could-a-would-a’s and the paralysis that accompanies states of regret, self-doubt, and second-guessing, I suggest this one easy action: Look up.

Minding the Sky || On the Fly

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Feature

One the one hand, I have a lot to do in my new role as active activist actively engaging in any activity that helps build the resistance and resilience for what lies ahead. On the other hand, I have to take the tree down and put our shop-worn holiday spirits back in the box out of which they burst, with their ho-ho-ho’s and their ha-ha-hollies in tow.

Like any sensible woman would, I am going to multi-task-catch-up on the holiday letter I was too busy to write, put away the ornaments that are hanging on our now dried-up remnant of a wispy, wild tree, and do my best to save the world to the extent that I am able.

Minding the Sky || Paint It Black

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, History

Because of you, I will not give up. I am standing with you; I am grieving with you. My broken heart breaks with yours. I will not desert you. I will stick with you, I will defend you in any way I personally can, from the bullies in the schoolyard, in the neighborhood, in big or small business, and in the highest offices of government.

Minding the Sky || Gleaning the Chutney of Life

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Food, Gardens, Humor, Literary, Nature

You probably didn’t notice, but I am nearly a month late with this posting. I was last due on Sept. 12 at which time I was out of body, in another part of my mind. It was my birthday and I was completely absorbed in one and only one activity: completing the edit on my novel.

Minding the Sky || Back from Afar

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Music, Theater and Dance

I’ve been away for what feels like months—because I have been away for part of every month since March.

Minding the Sky || In the Vortext of Women’s Voices

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Literary

May 19, 2016 is the day that Vortext begins its process this year, unfurling and finding its way into being, like any piece of writing—there is a place where it must begin and this is it.

Minding the Sky || Surprised by Spring

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Community, Feature, Gardens

Suddenly it’s March again. Not quite Equinox, but it will be soon!

Minding the Sky || Making Resolutions that Matter

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Literary

Whew! We did it! Made it through the eye of the needle of the darkest day, found our way through that tiny door at the bottom of the old year and discovered a lightening sky awaiting us in the morning frost of the new.

Minding the Sky || ‘X’ Marks the Spot

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Community

X marks the spot where I stand now. How different it feels from where I stood then, in the in-between room of sitting in the waiting room and waiting in the sitting room. I was perusing an old Territory Ahead catalogue in order to, ironically, metaphorically, avoid thinking about the real territory ahead, if X was Y instead of Y being X— if, then, being the operative term.

Minding the Sky || Something Old, Something New

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Culinary

It doesn’t take much rain to remind us of the real place we live most of the year, or did before the endless summer began. Just a bit like this recent early morning’s grey mist and scattered showers reminds us all that the sky is changing, once again, changing.

Minding the Sky || The Constant Inconstant

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Gardens

I had been posed in a shoulder stand during my morning yoga practice when the words: “constant inconstant” came to mind. The last I remember writing here, so many months ago, the cherry blossoms had just peaked, the air smelled of turning earth, and we began to imagine the days of summer beauty coming upon us, suddenly, like a deer crossing the road.

Minding the Sky || Dreaming of Buried Treasure

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Literary, Visual Art

I’ve been thinking about summer on Whidbey lately. I am beginning to see it glimmering in the green glow of late afternoon; I am catching a whiff of it in the softening air. We wait all year for it.

Minding the Sky | With Angels About

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Literary

The holiday season came and went in a blur of twinkling lights and crumpled tissue paper, didn’t it? Time at this time of year has an eerie, Dali-esque, melting quality—the days are short and sometimes don’t ever change from a dusky shade of twilight, which makes getting out of pajamas on a Sunday almost impossible to do.

Minding the Sky | When Mercury is in Retrograde ​

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Literary

The Fall is finally falling. The shadow of Summer was stillgolden in the trees as recently as last week. Remember? Unseasonably warm, with almost sirocco–like winds, it felt like another country around here.

Minding the Sky | Blackberries and other local jewels at Hedgebrook

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Culinary, Literary

The plums of Honeymoon Bay are ripening; the blackberries are on the way to dropping in handfuls from the weight of their juices warmed by the sun. Summer is almost past her prime—but not quite.

A few hot days in a row made us thirsty for swimming and sunning and lolling about; they have fostered an urge to stretch the few really spectacular moments we have left in the season and make them last as long as possible. Optimistically, there are three more weeks of August and then three more potentially gorgeous ones in September, until the official Last Day of Summer sets behind the Olympics.

Minding the Sky | More about the dog here

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Literary

These beautiful days have been very unsettling. Like everybody else in the Northwest, when the sun shines, I just want to be in it. I have all kinds of very good reasons to do so—whack the weeds, transplant rhodies, empty the shed, wash the car, clean the gutters, and sweep up cedar debris that has accumulated on the roof.

Minding the Sky with Zeno in Mind

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Literary

Zeno’s Paradox and Judith Walcutt’s version 5.5, draft 28 of her novel, “The Painter’s Girl” are evidence of the insight: “It is really difficult to write a good book!”

Minding the Sky on a moonlit solstice

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Culinary, Literary, Music, Visual Art, Winery

The sun will rise again and stay a little bit longer every day, once we just get past this one hard part — the longest night.

Minding the Sky while ironing it out

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Literary

So you see, Candace has had a subtly huge influence on the entire direction of my life and she has helped me iron out so many wrinkles in so many challenging situations, I can’t begin to recount them all.

Minding the Sky | Making jam while the fruit is ripe

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Culinary, Literary

I have known these plums since they were blossoms ─ like frosting on birthday cake and full of the gasping beauty of the spring.

Minding the Sky | Driven by distraction

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs

In this way, procrastination becomes a very fertile state of mind.

Minding the Sky up on the roof

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs

To learn more about minding your own mind, so that you too can be a good sky-minder on the roof or anyplace else, join me for Direct Mind Perception Mediation teachings given by Lama Lena Feral.

Minding the Sky while cleaning the closets

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Literary

I remember their tiny feet inside me, kicking to get out, followed by bigger feet in red, salt-water sandals, splashing in the low tides of Double Bluff …

Minding the Sky | The author and her blue bottle each brave certain stormy seas

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Theater and Dance

I’d prepped my bottle the night before, a darker blue one than the first, into which I dropped the same scrolled poem, “Ontology the Sea and Me.”

Minding the Sky | The sea sends a message back by mail

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Literary

This is of me and this is of you—who finds this poem on a shore near or far—we are the bottle, we are the message, we are the message in the bottle.

Judith Walcutt contemplates cycles and serendipity in ‘Minding the Sky’

by Judith Walcutt in Blogs, Literary

When it began, the Water Dragon caused a huge energetic change for me almost immediately.