Kaethe Kauffman


Foraging is in my blood, as if ancient Hunter and Gatherer genes can’t be denied. At the beach, I compulsively gather interesting rocks and shells. Their designs enchant me, and I rub my fingers over the textures, satisfying something deep within. Four to six inch-diameter stones from my father’s favorite salmon fishing beach, La Push […]

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Pandemic Itch

Until the pandemic mandate to avoid touching our faces, I thought I rarely laid a finger on that piece of anatomy other than to apply my daily vitamin E cream.  In accord with a universal truism, the minute something became forbidden, I had to do it. My head seemed to erupt in hundreds of itches

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Pandemic Is Like Divorce

Living through a pandemic is like enduring a long, contested divorce. One false move and the enemy can seize us. In my sister’s divorce, still on-going after three years, if she gets angry at her cheating spouse, the lawyer accuses her of being an emotionally unstable mother. She has to remain serene as a saint. 

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Introvert Heaven

Aside from the threat of imminent, hideous death by asphyxiation, I have never felt so supremely happy as during the pandemic. As an introvert, I’d always suffered as an invisible minority, a person who craved quiet in a noisy world. Cities assumed everyone wanted a stadium or a convention center. With successful bond-raising efforts and,

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People Watching

Mom taught me well. She loved “people watching,” as she called it. During my childhood, when we were in a downtown crowd or sitting in a restaurant, she’d poke me and giggle, “Look at that man’s nose. It has a drop on the end. Oh, my God, it’s about to drip.” As we chuckled, we

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Odd Confidences: Posers

In an unconscious way, I seemed to encourage people to confide in me. I’d always delighted in asking folks questions. Could I help it if they answered me? Recently, I’ve heard three doozies. See links below for all 3. These three unsolicited revelations shocked me and caught me delightfully unaware each time. But, upon reflection,

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My Inner Caricature

Some old friends, Gladys and Kevin, who lived five hundred miles away, offered to drive six of my over-sized art pieces across the state at the close of a recent exhibit. Intrepid travelers, they routinely manipulated an unwieldy Recreational Vehicle, the kind I hated being stuck behind on the road, all around North American highways,

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Peering Through Time

At the ancient city of Ephesus on the Aegean Sea, in the years before Christ, the Romans built large condos from carved red sandstone and red bricks. In 2019, our guide led us up stairways to see the different floors, many decorated with intricate and stunning mosaics. We could distinguish upper class Romans, who enjoyed

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Eagle Slayer

My sister, Nan, killed an eagle in Canada. Distraught, she choked out the words, describing her crime to me. Having worked for the Department of Ecology in Washington State, she assumed she’d go to jail. Although her close encounter with the eagle had been an accident, she knew these giant birds were sacred to the

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