"The mode it takes depends on your social circle, but I would wager that you, like me, nurture some kind of regular, ritualized danger. These places, activities, and adventures exist as a sanitized mirror of life, wiped clean of all but a manageable level of chance or participation. Mine is not an original observation, but as I get older it feels more and more concrete."
"So what do squirrels—northern flying squirrels, to be exact—and truffles have in common? Well, it just so happens that the squirrels that call my woods home have one of the most sophisticated (and expensive) palates of any squirrel on earth."
"Petals fall around my bench and I am dizzy from their perfume, from this strange mid-March sun. Blown from the tree, the blossoms look whitewashed. They blanket the walkway. I almost say they remind me of snow, but it’s not like that at all."
"I think seeing a monument is the proper way to mark a momentous occasion; I’ve graduated with my master’s degree, and the monument I want most to see is Michel de Montaigne’s estate in southwestern France. A squat stone tower, the very place the “father of the essay” lived and worked in the 16th century, still stands. “Yes,” I tell my partner, “We’ll see the Louvre, we’ll see the Eiffel Tour,” but I also gently remind him who opened the account. I insist on this pilgrimage to a holy site—the birthplace of the essay."