Dancing On The Page

Almost every culture dances. In Texas, we two-step. In Austria, they waltz. The Congolese do the Soukous. And the tango is required learning in Argentina. The only culture without dance is fundamentalist Protestantism, which inexplicably ignores the biblical instruction that there is “a time to dance.” Popular dances can range from the formal to the […]

An Afghan Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving Day 2001, my job was to take the turkeys out of the fire. I’d been out reporting most of the day, so when I returned to Jalalabad my contribution to dinner was to monitor four scrawny Afghan turkeys that were baking in Dutch ovens buried in hot coals behind the Spinghar Hotel. Once […]

Cultivating Creativity

Our environment has always shaped our artistic undertakings. In Africa, elaborate wooden masks and sculptures come from the west, where rainforests dominate. On East Africa’s savanna, wood is a precious commodity, so the arts focus on jewelry, clothing and body modification. In Texas, folks frequently lament a cultural landscape as desolate as the scrublands of […]