“Healing History: Preserving the Legacy of Dr. Susan La Flesche”
Omaha Magazine - January 2019
“As it was in the days of the unbound prairie, so it remains in the age of endless corn: the pleasures of place are given to those with a keen eye for the subtle and overlooked.”
"A New Myth of the Moon"
Proximity - January 2018
"Though I may, on occasion, without intent or interest encounter the thing, vague and ghostly at midday or sagging in full flesh at midnight, it’s remarkably easy to never, in any other moment, imagine the moon. And why must I? Are not its movements so totally predictable, so certain, that even the most astute astrologer could perform her labor without ever opening a window, without ever consorting with the real and turbulent moon? This rock. Born from the random collision of the proto earth and some passing foreign body, its very existence is postscript. Accident. The moon is, forever and simply, the moon. The dead, silent wife of the world."
The American Literary Review - Spring 2016
"Every minute was born a new stranger—someone, somewhere—unknowable. And unfortunately, even the ones worth knowing, worth loving were so easily swallowed by the vacuums of other lives and other places to which—for those left behind—no access was permitted. It made some sense then, that in the shadow of so much loneliness all anyone could do was talk and talk and talk at each other, never once acknowledging what they really wanted, which was a family."
"The Place Where You Live"
Living on Earth - Spring 2015
"It’s Wednesday here, and when the sun comes up its crepuscular rays lance the stubborn cloud and trace pastels over land so flat and featureless that to follow the light down any road, in any direction, is to find only more and more and more of a world that is inexorably the same. We can call it beautiful though—this lazy play among the groggy hours—just as you are prone to do, seeing the same early light come to fall among the mountains and oceans and prehistoric forests that perhaps you call home. “How nice,” we say here, and then returning to our work in the corn and soy and parking lot fields of Eastern Nebraska, go about our day."
Omaha Magazine - August 2018
“It’s in hard-earned conditions like these that the seeds of utopia are sown. A solar shower, a wood-fired bathtub under the stars, a straw bale sauna—Schalles’ plans for the future are as ambitious as they are enviable.”
"A Wild Hunger: Notes on Eating, Foraging, and the Power of Looking Closely"
The New Territory - Issue 3
"F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “A sentimental person thinks things will last—a romantic person hopes against hope that they won’t.” In this sense, all foragers are romantics. Only a person with a finely attuned sense of loss could take such pleasure in the ephemeral. The honeydew colored leaves of a wild leek, for example, are a fledgling thing, in whose brief bloom one can find means of both celebrating and lamenting the fugitive present."
"From There to Here: A Dog's Life Across Nebraska"
NEBRASKALAND - Winter 2015
"On the five hour drive from the Sandhills to the city she mostly trembled in a ball on the floor. When we stopped in North Platte for lunch she tongued soft-serve in a drive-thru, peed on the white lines of a Wal-Mart parking lot, and seemed to feel a little better. In the following days, we gave her shots to stay healthy and a collar to stay found, and though those first weeks were hard, she quickly made use of that most profound animal skill—she adapted."
Sport Literate - Winter 2015
"A body. There were so many fine things to do with a body—laying it in the sun, making it naked with other bodies, putting it in cars with windows down and hurling it across minimum-maintenance roads in perfect humming spring afternoons. But this thing, running, was perhaps the most pure, the most immediate, the most uncomplicated way to be alive that we had access to. It was also, happily, a rather perfect offense against sleep and death and the general numbness that so much of the rest of the world ran on."
“The Minor God of Iowa”
The New Territory - Issue 5
“I couldn’t stop my wondering. What would it have been like? To run away. Truly away. Back when there was still away enough to run to. How comforting it would have been to disappear all your worry into a landscape still vast and wild enough to hold it, to carry it for you.”
The New Territory - Issue 2
"Pigeon Creek is a generous name for a ditch. Though it is born upstream as a few thread-thin brooks filtered through floury loess soil, leaking out along the hills of Iowa’s western profile, after flowing barely a mile out of the ground it has, with clinical certainty, been channelized into banks so straight and high it’s as if the fist of God herself had directly rulered them onto a map of the world. How exactly these modest headwaters look—whatever moss, whatever flower grow there—I cannot know, private property that it is."
"Hope, Change, Etc."
Isthmus Review - Spring 2015
"Everything’s redundant, it seemed. The world unfolds the same lessons for us nearly every day, in nearly every place we care to look. We watch the same sunrise, attend the same funeral, eat and re-eat the same scoops of ice cream. The past was passed before it ever happened. It was already too late for nostalgia. One day I was born—another day I died, somewhere in between I sat by a lake watching bats with my wife. It was hard to find the thread between that night and the last six years."
"But We Loved It All the Same"
Fourth Genre - Fall 2014
"Where does awe live? To sense something awesome is to be overcome by things larger or more mysterious than we think ourselves to be. In the nineteenth-century, the theologian Asa Mahan claimed that "Reason stands in awe of nothing but the infinite." We all know assholes like this—certain cynical friends who stand in easy defiance of all sorts of wonders large and small, always quick to point out the textbook explanation for hoar frost on a blade of grass, or the taste of rain, or the origin of sand. For them, every mystery has a solution—every awe, an answer. Asa Mahan would call them wise, Horace might call them happy, whether they are much fun on a long car ride or over several pitchers of beer is perhaps debatable."