Dark Light

I became a botanist of the ordinary. A connoisseur of the vanishing moment. The way light falls in the window of a sailor’s club on Mulberry Street. An umbrella dropped or forgotten at...

Solitude and the Populous City

With my photographs, I aim to counter the numbing sense of predictable routes and urban routines by revealing unexpected places in the city as settings for quiet meditation and dreaming.

Embracing the Shadow: Personally and Nationally

Embracing the shadow side of our humanity and bringing it to self-awareness is valuable work—a necessary chore on a path to wholeness and enlightenment, a moral imperative to prevent...

A Winter State of Mind

The Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore says trees are “prayers,” and I feel them also as talismans, my armor against myself and the tendency to keep my eyes closed.

Trusting the Dark

Darkness gives us permission, permission to explore, permission to germinate, permission to create without the glaring lights of comparison.

We Were Breathing the Same Air

Contemplative experience is sometimes like that. Things we thought important a minute before can just dissolve. Barriers that seemed insurmountable can fall away. Skin tones, education...

The Art of the Remarkable Obituary

I’ve been writing obituaries for New Orleans newspapers for slightly more than forty years. I was lucky when I started down this path because I had an editor with a fondness for such...

Coping with Covid-19 in the Cold: A Wintery and Wooly Wonderland

But once the pandemic hit, we let out a collective breath. Who are we fooling? We’re one short generation from the farm, the woods, the sea. Nature was still calling us.

Winter Wheat

Winter wheat lies beneath snowy fields planted with faith in tomorrow, a memory and a promise brought forward through years of golden days, when young men were pioneers in life . . . were...

Saving the Wild South: The Fight for Native Plants on the Brink of Extinction

Nature can be forgiving and resilient. Dormancy is natural. The dark days are essential.

The Winter issue of South Writ Large marks our ten-year anniversary. Heartfelt thanks to our generous contributors and loyal readers for their support throughout the decade. We are grateful for your words, images, art, and enthusiasm!

Winter is a season of darkness before renewal and rebirth. Seeds and shoots lie dormant beneath the frozen ground biding their time, and the animal kingdom stores and hibernates. So do we humans turn inward in reflection, often in solitude, spending more time indoors, staving off the chill with home comforts. This winter more than any other, with the pandemic abroad, has been a time for many of us to turn to our inner resources. We hope this issue, with its images and reflections, will be one source of comfort.