• Being Watched
    Among the towers of the Bayon, a temple complex in northwest Cambodia, are 200 smiling, complacent faces of the Buddha. Most of them are two or three yards wide, massive carved blocks of sandstone fitted together almost seamlessly, a proud legacy of sculptor artisans in the service of a long-ago Khmer empire. Many of those serene faces, when I first saw them five decades ago, were still enwreathed in the thick, fleshy roots of the tropical forest that had grown over them, from which they had only recently been -- partially -- freed. Still ensnared and so diminished by the remnant tuberous arteries and veins of giant trees, they seemed nonetheless tranquil, halcyon. Serene, but omnipresent -- like the benign surveillance I experienced there.
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  • Brad Noel dies at 88
  • For Unpolished Beauty
    It was an apt arena for early tests of manhood. The ranch’s chief cowboy taught me to stay in the saddle on a horse that greeted each day by lowering its head, forelegs splayed, its hindquarters hammering the air, bucking and pivoting for a minute or two before docilely settling into a day’s work.
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  • In Surreal Time
  • Jacob’s Roosters
  • Milestones
  • Monseigneur
  • New Year’s toast for Seabury residents
  • Schoolmaster
  • The Mighty Sparrow
  • When Elephants Harvested Teak
    The elephants, our ranger explained, would come be harnessed to drag the logs and – without needing help from their mahouts – team up with each other to hoist them into color-coded piles to await being trucked to the sawmill!
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  • Work Rules

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