Global housekeeping or home ecology?

A better world is possible. But we have to make it happen. I've hesitated for months about writing a new 2024 version of my first book, Home Ecology. As you may know, last year I started a second Substack newsletter with that title. But a newsletter is not enough. Books aren't enough either, but they are translated and serialized and quoted, and they endure. Part of my hesitation is practical - a lot of effort, unpredictable reward, and many other commitments. But it's also a hesitation to admit to a [...]

March 29th, 2024|Categories: Karen's Letter|

Dinner with Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger was looking into my eyes as he talked about AI and the future of US-China relations. I had no choice: I nodded thoughtfully and kept my gaze on him, ignoring my salad. He was talking directly across the table to me for a simple reason: he couldn't see anyone else. The room was dim, and the dining table was crowded with flower arrangements. He needed an audience, and I was it. I confess: I practiced the kind of vivacious listening that women through the ages have done. [...]

December 14th, 2023|Categories: Karen's Letter|

How T S Eliot’s desk came to America

A member of the Berkshire Woodworkers Guild came to look at the T S Eliot desk a few days ago. I'd asked my neighbor Bob Norris, an avid woodworker, if he might be able  to help me identify the wood the desk was made from. He said he wasn't expert enough but would find someone - and he did. T S Eliot desk in Camberwell, London. Probably Spring 1990.* I had thought for years that the desk must be made of pine - called "deal" in England - [...]

Karen’s Letter: Finding Resilience

I’ve felt low this week and I’m not sure why. Of course I know why. The world’s in a mess, and my own country is amongst the worst of it. But I’m not sure why it struck me so hard this week. The feelings come in waves: I feel tense, angry, overwhelmed. I just want to be left alone. I don’t want to have another Zoom meeting. I want to have friends to supper. I want to sit at a bar with a martini with lots of people around me. But [...]

December 29th, 2021|Categories: Berkshire Blog, Karen's Letter|