The rock and the ripple.

September 21, 2019 § 1 Comment

Xfinity’s ad is running over an instrumental version of Here Comes the Sun. So many who see the ad are too young to have experienced the cultural tsunami known as the Beatles.

Still, the tune will insinuate itself into their heads.

Context gone, the melody (that beautiful melody) persists.

The things we create get braided into our collective sense of what-is. They become the commons we all take for granted, the corners of the picture frame that encloses life.

The process begins with an event: George Harrison writes Here Comes the Sun. The record comes out (that is the rock dropped into our collective awareness), and teens all over the world go wild!

Those teens grow up, grow old, but they carry the melody with them. It would gradually die out as they die out, but one day it is re-purposed. And the ripples spread…

After a while the rock and the ripple lose their association. For those who were not alive when the rock was tossed all there is is the ripple, which has taken on a life of its own.

Creativity comes in many forms: music, literature, science, fashion, art, language, politics. Our collective commons are always changing. The Beatles, Einstein, Hitler, Jesus Christ–each dropped a boulder from which the ripples are still spreading.

Most of us have little more than a pebble to toss, but however small or large, each of us creates ripples. And who can say, which will travel far, nudging generations to come?

Stripped of lyrics and those four mop-top lads, that melody (yes, that beautiful melody) takes root in a million young minds.

And the beat goes on.

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Mary went for a walk.

September 9, 2019 § 4 Comments

My husband and I were driving home from Jacksonville after riding Amtrak down the coast from Trenton, New Jersey. We were tired when we pulled into the I-10 rest stop, ready to be home. The poster about the missing woman was small and faded, easy to walk past without a glance, but what hung there was a story, so I stopped.

It was 2015 when Mary went for a walk.

She was born in ’53, so she was younger than I am by a couple of years, but her walk and the walks I take are different. I always know where I am.

Mary didn’t.

According to the poster: “Mary requires medication and suffers from dementia.”

Her face on the poster looked like the face of a third grade teacher. It was an ordinary, sympathetic female face, one that has not been seen by her family or friends for four years.

The poster persists, appealing to random strangers: have you seen this woman in your travels? Do you see her even now, or do you just need a quick stop in the restroom and something from the vending machine before getting back on the road?

What are the odds of a butt-weary traveler stopping, looking, and recognizing Mary, who went for a walk in 2015?

Mary is a needle hidden in the haystack that is the world.

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The weight we carry.

September 1, 2019 § 3 Comments

Does time have weight?

Do we store it in our bones,

or carry it, unwieldy,

in our arms?


Is it the accumulated

weight of time that

wears us out,

makes us old?


I wonder…

can we set that burden down,

travel light again like

a child who lives

in the splendor of right now?


Can that newness be

snuck up on and captured

like a firefly

in a jar? « Read the rest of this entry »

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