Monday, January 30, 2017

I can't believe it's not a run-on sentence

The very same week that figurative doors around our country were slammed shut by a ham-fisted executive order, I witnessed two hours of middle-school spelling bee in which students (their familial roots stretching across Asia, Europe, and the Americas) deconstructed words that sifted into English from French, Spanish, Latin, Arabic, and Native American dialects -- a juxtaposition that left my mind reeling and my head shaking.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Rhetorical question

I've got a more unwieldy slice in process about a book I just finished. (Needs more time in the oven.) So, when I heard this news item featured on the radio this morning, I welcomed the chance to compose tiny writing during my commute to work.

If time makes even
Everest stoop, then what chance does
our mortal clay have?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

There & (mostly) back again

You know the investing disclaimer about past performance being no guarantee of future returns? Well, check out this slice for a nearly literal off-label application.

With my newish knee ligament and the connected parts getting stronger, I've stepped back on skis of the Nordic variety the past two weeks. Six pristine inches of snow and the federal holiday Monday encouraged me to hop on a nearby multi-use path for a shushing jaunt. The outbound journey went a deliberate 2-3 miles. Fairly wet snow and old, neglected skis meant I sometimes had to pause, scraping from the ski bases clumpy chunks, harshing on my meager glide. A small headache, I figured, given the passable ground coverage that meant I could keep skiing. I made even quicker work after turning around to head downhill. That is, until about a mile into my return when first I saw ominous tread tracks; then the surface changed texture:
Turned out, since I'd last passed, all that coverage had been swept aside by a go-getting municipal employee who'd plowed well beyond the sign that threatened (promised?): "End of city maintenance." I milked the soft shoulder for all it was worth before I had to resort to my two feet, clicking on concrete, for the last several steps home.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Slice of someone else's life

Turns out it's a lot easier to stop writing than to start. That's one reason I'm glad I met this woman at the bus stop today.  Actually, she was standing 50 or so feet away from the bus stop when I politely squeezed past her on the sidewalk at 5 p.m. She walked along with me, commenting how she'd just realized she'd misplaced herself. We made small talk, awaiting the bus: weather, of course. In a show of boldness, she asked what I did. When she learned I was an English teacher, she asked if I wrote. "Informally, amateurly," I stuttered, "to model for my students." "Not to get published?" she asked. I shook my head. "For my own reflection, really." She said she loved to sing and write songs; in fact, she was headed to a music rehearsal. She admitted that she would never let her dreams die. She'd dreamed for a long time of a life in rock and roll. She'd lived itinerantly.  Before singing tonight, she needed to attend an AA meeting. Her laughter rang like wind chimes. Turns out I never know what might re-start my writing.