July 25, 2016 § 2 Comments
In the latest revision the label “story” was added.
Yes, the brain has allocated territory to the human habit of storytelling and story-listening.
Why? Brain real estate is valuable.
How do stories justify themselves when it comes to the bottom line, survival?
Stories organize the random chaos that is life into something coherent, manageable, hopeful; something worth the effort.
How? Story snips the endlessly unspooling thread of life into something shorter: it begins here, it ends here. And in between a problem is raised—and solved!
July 18, 2016 § 4 Comments
Or even to be old.
But I accept that there is a certain fairness to both these outcomes.
I have had a wealth of days, and far more than my share of kindness and lucky breaks.
As a kid I had the luxury of believing all families were loving and durable and did their darndest to protect, teach, and give a child an advantageous start. « Read the rest of this entry »
June 13, 2016 § 4 Comments
Any place we claim as home has, and has not.
The place I claim has squirrels, armadillos, and raccoons, but no giraffes, onagers, or kangaroos.
Trees are a different story.
Our live oaks are burly with spreading limbs. Fingertip to fingertip it takes several of us to hug the tree in my father’s back yard. The oaks are the landscape–every place does something bigger and better than the average. We do trees.
You won’t hear us brag about our climate, which is ninety percent heat, ninety percent humidity. It may not add up but its true. Both settle in for months, refusing to budge. Just when our brains reach a slow simmer, abuzz with heat-induced confusion, a cool breeze blows through, and it is winter.
May 31, 2016 § 8 Comments
Maybe the self extends past the thin envelope of skin. Maybe it includes the man-made box the body inhabits: the shelf of carefully arranged stones-of-travel, the photos and cut flowers, the wall paint that matches the sky.
Maybe, like magnetism, the self extends out into the yard, to wander among the ferns and grass and the flowering plants passed along by neighbors as slips in Dixie cups of damp earth. « Read the rest of this entry »
May 15, 2016 § 1 Comment
this moment’s sky,
Palladio’s eternal column.
The immovable past
partnered with the
Italy is a beautiful arrangement of
tortes, gelati, masks, hats,
behind a polished
pane of glass.
April 24, 2016 § 7 Comments
Every one of the women gathered to discuss library business wore a catfish frown.
Catfish can’t help it. It’s simple anatomy, but as a young person I assumed the human face was mobile, and that facial expressions revealed the emotions within.
If so, I was in trouble. New at running a public library, I read the frowns of those women-of-a-certain-age as disapproval.
I hadn’t reckoned with the way age creates unintended facial expressions including the, “Hey kid, get off my lawn” glare, the “Life is one long disappointment” slump, and the face-at-rest frown.