Here's a quirky little gift from my subconscious that bubbled up in the middle of dreaming one recent night. I held onto one sentence only: "Grief potatoes are the worst potatoes." Utah is famous for a cultural dish called "funeral potatoes." It's a kind of scalloped potato casserole that's traditionally brought around to households where a member has just died. Funeral potatoes are a comfort food, tasty enough to be appealing to someone whose grief-stricken taste buds interpret almost every foodstuff as cardboard.More...
After wrapping up production for last month's issue, I drove cross-country with my niece, CATALYST art director Polly Plummer Mottonen, and my two great nephews, Max (13) and Miles (15). It was the classic American roadtrip: miles of open space; Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park, all the more interesting for the narrative provided by Polly, a former geologist; Devils Tower, made famous by Close Encounters of a Third Kind, and far more magnificent than I'd imagined; Mount Rushmore in the dark, on Independence Eve, which stirred memories of my first visit as a young child, 19 years after its 1941 completion.More...
The time for brewing beer is upon us. The weather is cooling into fall and putting a five-gallon pot of water to boil on the kitchen stove no longer seems like an insane idea. There is another reason to brew this time of year: hops. Starting in late August and continuing into early September, hops plants are ready for harvest. Hops are a core ingredient in brewing beer.More...
They are growing from the top of the Natural History Museum of Utah, sprouting from the terraced sides of the LDS Conference Center, putting roots onto the new downtown Public Safety Building and across the street at the Main Library. They are green roofs.More...
The ongoing mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), since first being reported in 2006, continues to affect honeybees and farm crops globally and here in Utah. While overwinter bee loss is normal, the overall health of bees both wild and domesticated, on the decline since the 1940s, has only worsened with the introduction of pests and pathogens in the 1990s. Last April Forbes magazine reported that a third of honeybees in the United States were lost over winter.More...
It was around 1994 (seems like only yesterday) a friend called, said: there's an artist visiting at BYU from New York, wanted to meet some interesting local folks, I thought of you. What d'you say?...I said: alright... Well then, come tonight at 6 pm to the Comfort Inn in Provo. She gave me the room number and I hung up already regretting being so agreeable. What I dislike more than interesting people is being considered an interesting person.More...
Robert Place's first Tarot deck came to him in a series of revelations. He says there was a magical quality about how it all happened, almost like the deck wanted to be made, and it wanted him to make it. Vivid dreams and spontaneous visions showed him that the Medieval alchemists' search for transmutation and enlightenment were interchangeable with traditional Tarot decks' allegories and symbolism.More...
Buckle up! The week unfolds like a roller coaster and you'll need your safety gear in place to handle the ups and downs: One minute you're climbing to the top, and the next, you're flying high, screaming your head off at the all-too-quick descent, and then very next moment, you're sinking low, so low you're doubtful you will ever see the top again. And so go the regular routines of daily life in a world already punctuated by extremes. It's hard to say what the wisest course through the excitement will be. Certain situations could inspire participation—you'll want to take a stand for what you believe in. But other situations might be best served by bearing witness and holding a non-reactive perspective that has the power to calm, soothe, and encourage peace.
He channeled the universe.
And in those moments of his astounding wit,
as we choked on our laughter, barely able to catch our breath,
he managed to make us feel safe despite the chaos of existence.
I wish he could have experienced that same comfort.
The planets provide a perfect creative playing field this week, and as they generate this dynamic imaginative landscape, we experience the potential for prolonged contact with a passionate muse, a muse whose presence has the power to inspire all sorts of innovative endeavors—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Whether you are an artist, a writer, a musician, a gardener, a house-healer, or someone who sees daily life as the most important canvas, this is the moment to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary and the mundane into the mythological.
We're traveling to the beat of different astral drums this week, and while the forward-motion-nothing-is-retrograde cadence of daily life continues to feel like a relief, adjusting to the new flow may still require effort, especially if things just aren't going the way you would like them to. If you're feeling frustrated with the pace, try to keep in mind that it is only four weeks since the retrograde wave of 2014 receded; and when you consider how short a month really is, it's not at all surprising that some of us are still having a hard time finding our stride. But that's not the only reason the rhythms of the regular routines are a little out of sync.
Environmental news from around the state and the West.
—by Amy Brunvand
The Hundertwasser haus: A progress report.
—by John deJong
Feline Cuteness Overload alert! Volunteers needed!
—by Charlotte Bell
Getting to know the artistic "home" of Rose, Jeanné and Leona Wagner.
—by Amy Brunvand
What's new around town.
—by Katherine Pioli, India Hodges, Katy Yeaky, and Jeannette Culas
New ideas for a healthier, more sustainable future.
—by Pax Rasmussen
A few books from our office shelves that might interest you.
—by Madison Reece
Guidelines to Living Local.
—by Dennis Hinkamp
The Hall of Mirrors.
—by Suzanne Wagner