The Middle Distance 12.21.12: Reweaving the Social Fabric

This week’s mini-blizzard provided respite I’d been hoping for — no appointments, too cold to even think of going outside voluntarily, and streets packed with snow. I stayed in with the dogs, reading and cleaning and baking a dense chocolate cake scented with cloves […]

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The Middle Distance 12/14/12

Last night on a downtown street, someone busted out the front passenger window of my car to dig around inside it. Whoever it was — a passerby who, conveniently, had a brick or a big rock in his hand — found a wallet stuffed with essential identification, […]

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The Middle Distance 12.7.12: The Image Becomes a Phantom

In her treatise on photography, Susan Sontag said, “Today everything exists to end in a photograph.” Witness any public event in the 21st century, crowd members’ arms extended outward with smartphones pointed in every direction and understand how prophetic that statement was way back in […]

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The Middle Distance 11.30.12: Unknown Woman

She resides in a painting — a simple stretched canvas, unframed — emerging from a slate blue background, her hair and dress the same silver-gray. Her breasts sag low, as if from the natural weight of years.

She hung in a corner of the bedroom wherever I lived […]

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The Middle Distance 11.16.12: The Scent of Smoke

It is nearly Thanksgiving and in the early mornings my turn-of-the-20th century neighborhood smells like wood smoke. Nights are cold, the neighbors cranking up their fireplaces and wood stoves. A deadly summer wildfire season has put the fear of God and flame in most […]

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The Middle Distance 11.9.12: “Honey, It’s Jest Foo-ood”

In a parallel life, I think I might have been a cafeteria lady, baking industrial sized trays of yeast rolls every morning in a stainless steel kitchen, ladeling out clouds of mashed potatoes and smothering them with milk gravy.
Last Sunday I spent […]

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn wonders where to best place her worry during the Frankenstorm.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn embraces the obsessive mathematics of aging.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn tugs at the long tail of gun violence and its current literature.

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In this week’s Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn ruminates on the struggle for faith.

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We recently uncovered some shocking information regarding Big Something intern and recent Colorado College graduate, Jake Brownell. It turns out that the young man we know as an earnest, polite and responsible member of the community spent his youth as a gangster rapper. Well, perhaps gangster is a little hyperbolic, but he did cut a […]

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn gathers seeds from her garden and remembers the autumn of her twins’ birth.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn celebrates locavore and farmer Dan Hobbs on the occasion of his Palmer Land Trust Conservation Award.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn sees her late sister through the eyes of a ghost costume.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn walks back into her second grade classroom.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn unearths a moment in civil rights history that happened right under her nose.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn looks through the blurry lens of a toy camera into the past.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn stares into the eyes of a toothless flasher in a dirty raincoat.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn spreads her toes across years of shoeless memories.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn ties two summer films together with the unlikely string of far-fetched fantasy.

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(Cybil Shepherd, center, after winning the Miss Teenage Mephmis Pageant in 1966)

The Middle Distance 8.5.11: What Was I Thinking?

What was I thinking? I was 15 years old and had moved with my family from the small town of Jackson to the big city of Memphis. I didn’t know anyone, […]

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn commemorates the 5th anniversary of her son’s death in the wake a summer of difficult news.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn’s 100th column for KRCC’s The Big Something, she looks at a new book that examines the long term physical and psychic costs of Rocky Flats.

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News

AFP/Getty Images
February 12, 2016 | NPR · The leak was first reported in October; since then, more than 6,000 residents were forced to evacuate the area northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
 

Getty Images
February 12, 2016 | NPR · In 2014, a rookie police officer fired his gun in a stairwell. His bullet ricocheted off a wall and hit Akai Gurley, 28, on a lower floor.
 

Getty Images
February 12, 2016 | NPR · While the damage from lead in Flint’s water is not yet known, even low levels can be harmful to children. The Michigan city’s superintendent of schools says he’s bracing for an uncertain future.
 

Arts & Life

February 12, 2016 | NPR · Reviewer Ericka Brooks loves romance novels, but she felt like there was something missing in her collection. So she went looking for books with characters from all different backgrounds.
 

UIG via Getty Images
February 12, 2016 | NPR · The 14th century Persian poet Hafez remains venerated in Iran, even though he wrote of wine, romance and other topics not necessarily welcome in today’s Islamic Republic.
 

Courtesy of Lucy Kalanithi
February 12, 2016 | NPR · Dr. Paul Kalanithi was finishing his residency in neurosurgery when he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. His memoir deals with the struggle and the joy of life as death drew near.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
February 11, 2016 | NPR · A year ago, the 10-piece band was working day jobs and gigging on weekends. Ari Shapiro talks with members Kam Franklin and Adam Castaneda about making the leap that landed them on a national stage.
 

NPR
February 11, 2016 | WBGO+JAZZ.org · Pianist Eric Lewis did a turn in the crossover celebrity spotlight with his “rockjazz” method. But he pledges allegiance to “the jazz republic” in a new trio with Reginald Veal and Jeff Watts.
 

Courtesy of the artist
February 11, 2016 | WXPN · The Delta Spirit singer rocks solo in a special episode, recorded live in Austin, Texas.
 

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