Follow us: Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Google+ Follow us on Linkedin Follow us on Tumblr Subscribe to our RSS or Atom feed
Friday, November 17, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


Our Writers

  • Adam Peck
  • Alan Gordon
  • Alex Kearns
  • Alex Seitz-Wald
  • Alice Murray
  • Allison Korn
  • Alyssa Cagle
  • Amanda Marcotte
  • Amanda Peterson Beadle
  • Andrea Grimes
  • Andrea Lee Meyer
  • Andrew Bowen
  • Andy Brack
  • Andy Kopsa
  • Andy Miller
  • Andy Schmookler
  • Ann Marie Pace
  • Ann Woolner & Leonard Ray Teel
  • Anna Dolianitis
  • Anna Forbes and Kate Ryan
  • Annelise Thim
  • Anoni Muss
  • April Adams
  • April Moore
  • Ariel Harris
  • Armando
  • Arthur Blaustein
  • Austen Risolvato
  • Austin McMurria
  • Barry Hollander
  • Bert Roughton III
  • Beth Ostlund
  • Betsey Dahlberg
  • Bill Caton
  • Bill Hamm
  • Bill Mankin
  • Bill Montgomery
  • Bill Moyers & Michael Winship
  • Bill Phillips
  • Bill Semple
  • Bill Tush
  • Billy Howard
  • Bob Bohanan
  • Bob Pritchard
  • Booth Malone
  • Bootsie Lucas
  • Boyd Lewis
  • Brad Clayton
  • Braden Goyette For ProPublica
  • Brandon Collins
  • Brett Martin
  • Brian Randall
  • Brianna Peterson
  • Bruce Dixon
  • Bruce E. Levine
  • Burton Cox
  • Candice Dyer
  • Carl Kline
  • Carol Carter
  • Carson M. Lamb
  • Casey Hayden
  • Cathleen Hulbert
  • Center for American Progress
  • Chantille Cook
  • Charles Finn
  • Charles O. Hendrix Jr.
  • Charles Seabrook
  • Charles Walston
  • Chelsea Toledo
  • Chelsey Willis
  • Chris Bowers
  • Chris Kromm
  • Chris Wohlwend
  • Christopher Burdette
  • Chrys B. Graham
  • Chuck Collins
  • Cliff Green
  • Cody Maxwell
  • Collin Kelley
  • Craig Miller
  • Crissinda Ponder
  • Dallas Lee
  • Dan Kennedy
  • Daniel Flynn
  • Daniel K. Williams
  • Daniel Palmer
  • Danny Fulks
  • Dante Atkins
  • Darby Britto
  • Dave Cooley
  • Dave Johnson
  • Dave Pruett
  • David Bradford
  • David Evans
  • David Harris-Gershon
  • David Jenks
  • David Kyler
  • David Parker
  • David Roberts
  • David Rotenstein
  • David Swanson
  • Dean Baker
  • Deb Barshafsky
  • Debbie Houston
  • Deborah Chasteen
  • Denise Oliver Velez
  • Dennis McCarthy
  • Desiree Evans
  • Dian Cai
  • Diana
  • Diane Rooks
  • Dina Rasor
  • Dindy Yokel
  • Doc
  • Don Lively
  • Don O'Briant
  • Donnie Register
  • Door Guy
  • Doug Couch
  • Doug Cumming
  • Dr. Brian Moench
  • Dr. Dorothy Ann Boyd-Bragg
  • Dr. Nick De Bonis
  • Dr. Ravi Batra
  • E. David Ferriman
  • Earl Fisher
  • Eden Landow
  • Eileen Dight
  • Eleanor Ringel Cater
  • Elizabeth Shugg
  • Ellen Brown
  • Elliott Brack
  • Erin Kotecki Vest
  • Fatima Najiy
  • FishOutofWater
  • Francisco Silva
  • Frank Povah
  • Fred Brown
  • Frederick Palmer
  • Gadi Dechter, Michael Ettlinger
  • Gail Kiracofe
  • Gaius
  • Georgia Logothetis
  • Gib Ennis
  • Gina Williams
  • Gita M. Smith
  • Glenn Carroll
  • Glenn Overman
  • Gordon Anderson
  • Gregory C. Dixon
  • Gryphon Corpus
  • Hamp Skelton
  • Harriet Barr
  • Heather Boushey
  • Henry Dreyer
  • Henry Foresman
  • Hollis B. Ball III
  • Hugh
  • Hyde Post
  • Ian Kim
  • Ian Millhiser
  • Isabel Owen
  • Ivy Brashear
  • J.A. Myerson
  • Jack deJarnette
  • Jack Wilkinson
  • Jacklyn C. Citero
  • Jake Olzen
  • James Hataway
  • James Marc Leas
  • James N. Maples
  • Janet Ward
  • Jasmine Burnett
  • Jason Palmer
  • Jason Parker
  • Jay Thompson
  • Jaz Brisack
  • Jeff Cochran
  • Jeff Davis
  • Jeff Rayno
  • Jeff Spross
  • Jeffry Scott
  • Jennifer Hill
  • Jesse Harwell
  • Jessica Luton
  • Jim Allen
  • Jim Bentley and Jeff Nesmith
  • Jim Clark
  • Jim Cobb
  • Jim Fitzgerald
  • Jim Newell
  • Jim Stovall
  • Jim Walls
  • Jim Warren
  • Jimmy Booth
  • Jing Luo
  • Jingle Davis
  • JL Strickland
  • Joan Donovan
  • Jodi Jacobson
  • Jody Wegmueller
  • Joe Earle
  • Joe Shifalo
  • Joel Groover
  • Joey Ledford
  • John A. Tures
  • John Dembowski
  • John Hickman
  • John Hickman with Sarah Bartlett
  • John Huie
  • John M. Williams
  • John Manasso
  • John Sugg
  • John Tabellione
  • John Yow
  • Jon Sinton
  • Jonathan Grant
  • Jonathan Odell
  • Joni Hunnicutt
  • Jonna Pattillo
  • Joseph B. Atkins
  • Joseph Gatins
  • Josh Dorner
  • Josh Sewell
  • Joy Moses
  • Judith Stough
  • Judy McCarthy
  • Juli Ward
  • Julian Bond
  • Julian Riggs Smith
  • Julianne Wyrick
  • Julie Ajinkya
  • Julie Puckett Fodera
  • Just Plain Will
  • Kaili Joy Gray
  • Kate Greer
  • Kate McNally
  • Katherine A. Edmonds
  • Kathleen Brewin Lewis
  • Kathleen Harbin
  • Kathleen R. Gegan
  • Kathryn Hoffman
  • KC Wildmoon
  • Keith Graham
  • Ken Edelstein
  • Ken Haldin
  • Ken Hawkins
  • Ken Peacock
  • Kevin Austin
  • Kevin Duffy
  • Kip Burke
  • Kirk McAlpin
  • Kirsten Barr
  • Kos Moulitsas
  • Kristie Macrakis
  • Lacey Avery
  • Lamont Cranston
  • Laura Clawson
  • Laura Smith
  • Laurence Lewis
  • Lawrence S. Wittner
  • Lee Leslie
  • Lee Robin
  • Leon Galis
  • Leonce Gaiter
  • Les Eatwell
  • LikeTheDew
  • Linda Hunt Beckman
  • Linda Jordan Tucker
  • Lisa Byerley Gary
  • Lisa Kerr
  • Lois Beckett, Propublica
  • Lorraine Berry
  • Louie Crew Clay
  • Louis Mayeux
  • Lovell Jones, Ph.D.
  • Lucy Emerson Sullivan
  • Lucy Guest
  • Maggie Lee
  • Maisha White
  • Mandy Richburg Rivers
  • Margi Ness
  • Marian Wang, ProPublica
  • Marie Diamond
  • Mark Dohle
  • Mark Johnson
  • Mark Sumner
  • Martha W. Fagan
  • Mary Civille
  • Mary Elizabeth King
  • Mary Kay Andrews
  • Mary Lee
  • Mary Willis Cantrell
  • Matt Blakely
  • Matt Johnson
  • Matt Musick
  • Matt Renner
  • Matthew Wright
  • Maurice Carter
  • Meg Livergood Gerrish
  • Meghan Miller
  • Melanie Rochat
  • Melinda Ennis
  • Michael Bailey
  • Michael Beckel
  • Michael Castengera
  • Michael Ettlinger
  • Michael J. Solender
  • Michael Linden
  • Michael Lux
  • Michael W. Twitty
  • Mike ”Hunter” Lazzaro
  • Mike Copeland
  • Mike Cox
  • Mike Handley
  • Mike Lofgren
  • Mike Ludwig
  • Mike Williams
  • Mimi Skelton
  • Moni Basu
  • Monica Smith
  • Murray Browne
  • Myra Blackmon
  • Nancy Melton
  • Nancy Puckett
  • Nancy Robinson
  • Nancy Rogers
  • Neill Herring
  • Nelly McDaid
  • Nikki Gardner
  • Niles Reddick
  • Noel Holston
  • Occupy Wall Street
  • Overman & Senn
  • Pamela Sumners
  • Pat Garofalo
  • Pat LaMarche
  • Pat Norman
  • Patrick Andendall
  • Patrick L. Ledford
  • Patsy Dickey
  • Patti Ghezzi
  • Paul Buchheit
  • Paul Krupin
  • Paul Rutledge
  • Paul Thim
  • Pete & Jack
  • Peter Crawford
  • Peter Turnbull
  • Phil Gast
  • Phil Noble
  • Philip Graitcer
  • Phyllis Alesia Perry
  • Phyllis Gilbert
  • Piney Woods Pete
  • Polly
  • R S
  • R.L. Miller
  • Rafael Alvarez
  • Randy Conway
  • Randy Schiltz
  • Ray Bearfield
  • Raymond L. Atkins
  • Reagan Walker
  • Rebecca Sive
  • Ric Latarski
  • Richard Eisel
  • Righton C. Willis
  • Rob Chambers
  • Rob Coppock
  • Rob Douthit
  • Robert Allen
  • Robert Dardenne
  • Robert E Hunt Jr
  • Robert Jensen
  • Robert Lamb
  • Robert M. Williams, Jr.
  • Robert Mashburn
  • Robert Weiner & Richard Mann
  • Robin Marty
  • Rodney Adams
  • Roger Gregory
  • Ron Feinberg
  • Ron Taylor
  • Rose Aguilar
  • Rose Weaver
  • Rosemary Griggs
  • Russ Wellen
  • Sam Morton
  • Sao Magnifico
  • Sara Amis
  • Sarah Ayres
  • Sarah Bufkin
  • Saralyn Chesnut
  • Scott Anna
  • Scott Borchert
  • Scott Keyes
  • Scott Wooledge
  • Sean Manion
  • Seth Cline
  • Shane Gilreath
  • Sharon M. Riley
  • Shay Dawkins
  • Sheffield Hale
  • Sheila Barnard Nungesser
  • Sigrid Sanders
  • SoniaTai
  • Sonya Collins
  • Soraya Chemaly
  • Spencer Lawton
  • Stephanie Taylor
  • Stephen Lacey
  • Stephen Wingeier
  • Steve King
  • Steve Krodman
  • Steve Valk
  • Stuart Liss
  • Sue Sturgis
  • Sujigu
  • Susan De Bonis
  • Susan Soper
  • Susan Wilson
  • Suz Korbel
  • Tammy Andrews
  • Tammy Ingram
  • Tanya Somanader
  • Ted Kooser
  • Terri Evans
  • The Barnacle Goose
  • Thomas A. Bledsoe
  • Tiger Liliuokalani
  • Tim Oliver
  • Timothy Freeman
  • Timothy Hurst
  • Tom Baxter
  • Tom Crawford
  • Tom Ferguson
  • Tom Millsop
  • Tom Poland
  • Tom Walker
  • Travis Waldron
  • Travis Waldron & Pat Garofalo
  • Trevor Stone Irvin
  • Tricia Collins
  • Troubadour
  • Valerie Evans
  • Viveca Novak
  • Waldron, Somanader & Garofalo
  • Walter Rhett
  • Wanda Argersinger
  • Wayne Countryman
  • Wayne Johnson
  • We The People
  • Will Cantrell
  • Will Nelson
  • William Cotter
  • William Hedgepeth
  • Yana Kunichoff
  • Yasmin Vafa
  • Zack Beauchamp
  • Zack Ford
  • Zaid Jilani
  • Zaina Budayr




  • Writer Login


    David Evans

    David Evans
    I'm retired from another life and live in the mountains of eastern West Virginia with my muse Jody along with one little and two big dogs and a diminishing pride of two cats and other critters who come along the path from time to time. I retired one morning years ago when I woke up and said, "This is the day." It was simply time to do something new with my life. I had done whatever I did long enough, and now it was time to do something else. Being independent and no longer in the reins of someone else's driver, I believe I have found something to cherish that I never had before. Retirement may be dull and boring, but that's true only if you are dull and boring. But if you’re like I was, and am, I saw a lot of things as I went along the trail that I would have liked to linger over a lot longer if I had had the time to spare. Above all, I wanted to think about what they meant and have the chance to go back over them and figure them out. I'm not abashed to say that today I lead a life of real luxury. I also recognize that I'm a lucky boy. In the words of Katherine Anne Porter: "My life has been incredible, I don't believe a word of it." I am the author of the recently published collection of essays entitled Meeting Memory In The Dark. Earlier I self-published Words To Woo Her By And Other Distractions Along The Way; Tunes of Glory: The Slow Ticking of the Heart; Cradle My Soul: Glimpses Into Other Lives; and Unscheduled Stops: Essays on Love, Loss and Other Roadside Attractions. All are available on either Amazon or Create Space, a subsidiary of Amazon. Proceeds go to the Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary in Capon Bridge, West Virginia.
    Number of posts: 203
    Email address: email

    By David Evans:


      fanciful thoughts

      Barefoot In Time

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Aug 28, 2014
      Barefoot In Time

      She somewhat resembled the retired but not really old men who can’t wait to don their big blue hats and disappear into the basement for long periods to “work on” their elaborate model train sets. Like them, she could easily slip into a fantasy world where objects of interest were always smaller and at times had to be willed to be seen. She could spend hours gathering moss and twigs to build fairy houses and would then sit quietly nearby waiting for occupants. Little did she suspect that if you make them, they don’t necessarily come. And she was nearing forty.

      increasingly cynical prism

      All The Light We Cannot See

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Aug 20, 2014
      All The Light We Cannot See

      At this time in my life I am beginning to view so much of what is happening around me through an increasingly cynical prism. As a friend is quick to point out, though, that behind every committed cynic there is a disappointed idealist wondering what happened to a world that once seemed so good and full of possibilities.

      I blame Shakespeare for part of my mental dyspepsia. It all began back in university when a supercilious professor dressed down a fellow student for misspelling the bard’s name. Now after reading Bill Bryson’s book Shakespeare: The World As Stage

      visitors

      Cucumbers And Calipers

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Aug 18, 2014
      The Ancient of Days by William Blake - from Whitworth Art Gallery The University of Manchester UK The Bridgeman Art Library via Wikimedia.org (public domain)

      In his poem The Cabbages of Chekhov, Robert Bly had me again when he wrote that,

      “William Blake knew that fierce old man,
      irritable, chained, and majestic, who bends over
      to measure with his calipers the ruins of the world.”

      Despite such a fierce image in his poem, Bly has that way about him where he can rescue you in the end from all the bad news that comes tracked in on the dog’s paws.

      make love stay

      Flight Of Fancy

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Aug 12, 2014
      Love Padlocks by Nathan Meijer

      I read recently that the woman was so hateful that you could light a cigarette from her glare. There was just some deep hurt or plain orneriness about her that made her a Fukushima Daiichi that refused to cool off. When looking at the tabloid in the supermarket rack, I noticed that her mop of big hair needed some untangling and definitely a good scrub. She sat there showing a tattoo on her fleshy forearm bearing witness to whatever meaning was hidden beneath her skin’s impression of a tractor trailer. And she sure looked pissed.

      remembering

      Her Grandpa’s Apple

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Aug 7, 2014
      Her Grandpa's Apple

      The apple was no ordinary apple. It was a Red Delicious and it had been cut in two and shared with her some fifty years ago. The man who cut it was her grandpa and he was confined to a wheelchair soon to die of multiple sclerosis. She and he were alone in the house and he rolled his wheelchair up to the refrigerator, managed to get an apple out, and then expertly used his pocket knife to cut it in two and then scoop out the seeds, coring it before sharing it with her. Back in those days on the farm no one had store-bought apples and certainly no one peeled, cored or cut the crabapples that the kids would pick directly from the tree, wipe on their jeans and eat on their way to the field to herd the cows into the barn for milking.

      endings

      More Than A Month Of Sundays

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Aug 4, 2014
      Church steeple on a truck

      “I just opened up the Sunday morning paper to the Religion page and was stunned that my little county, including the county seat, had eighty-four different Baptist churches! Why so many and what kind of folk could harbor such nuanced differences in a particular denomination that they could be spurred at any perceived slight to go out and found another church to match their theological shoe size perfectly?”

      So began Lady X, one of the nine of us seated around a large table at a recent writers’ symposium. The topic was the “fine art” of cobbling together your far-fetched yarns into comprehensible tales that have a point and won’t lose your reader.

      oh, shit moments

      The Illusionists

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Jul 31, 2014
      The Illusionists

      “I remember the City Park Prophet once said everything that isn’t darkness or death is a vision. I remember he said we are all God’s hallucinations.”

      As I read further into Anthony Marra’s A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, ostensibly about the second Chechnya war set in 2004, I begin to wonder how much people think about god and the afterlife when all the minutes of their each and every day are focused exclusively just on keeping one step ahead of any number of thugs who want to plant them in some garbage pit.

      life in their shoes

      This Old Man

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Jul 28, 2014
      My mother Margaret Ellen Dailey on far right, circa 1917. My grandmother Julia on far left. Others are brothers and sisters.

      By now, most of us know that 28 July 1914 marks the formal beginning of WWI when the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia. Within a few days, most of the other nations of Europe had decided to unleash their own dogs of war in a complicated array of alliances that obliged them to come to the aid of their pals and fellow monarchs. Perhaps toward the end of the carnage a few years later, the phrase “How’s that working out for you?” was coined.

      waging peace. fighting disease. building hope

      Delighting In The Culture Of The Earth

      by | 8, Add your Comment | Jul 23, 2014
      Panoramic Pool view from main entrance of Carter Presidential Center by Robert Neff

      I recently had the pleasure of roaming about the grounds of the Carter Center in Atlanta. It was an early Sunday morning before any of the buildings were open and I had the place pretty much to myself except for one lady who volunteers there and was fidgeting around in one of the small side gardens. I didn’t tromp over the entire thirty-five acres, but I covered enough to be impressed with the design and the number of large Oaks that provided much needed shade from the bright sunshine and heat.

      words of love

      Words To Woo Her By

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Jul 21, 2014
      Words To Woo Her By

      This past weekend, my wife Jody and I attended a performance of Cyrano de Bergerac performed at the Blackfriar’s Theater in Staunton, Va. Just to hear the language was well worth the one-hundred forty mile round trip. Although I don’t have the skill to read it in the original French, Anthony Burgess’ translation which combines blank verse, prose, and rhyming couplets held our attention for the nearly three-hour performance. He created a contemporary sound for a play written in 1897…

      chance meetings

      A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

      by | 6, Add your Comment | Jul 16, 2014
      A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

      I knew I liked him early on by the way he told a joke. He had timing and delivery and the punch line was not telegraphed. Whenever I get off my mountain, I’m alert to serendipitous opportunities to meet such people and to get a peek into their lives. So on a recent trip to Atlanta for a couple of woodworking classes, I had the pleasure of spending a few nights with a dear friend in Asheville, one of the world’s finest and most civilized of cities. My friend is also a fine lady and like her adopted city, most civilized…

      the great war

      All The Hedges Broken Down

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Jul 4, 2014
      World War I, English Soldiers in the Trenches in France, 1914 from AllPosters.com

      Now that I have come to the end of Paul Fussell’s book The Great War And Modern Memory, I continue to think about the quote he cites describing a British soldier’s discovery of a pocket Bible lying open next to the body of a fellow Tommy killed at the WWI battle of the Somme. The soldier says, “it was open at the eighty-ninth Psalm, and the only legible words were: ‘Thou has broken down all his hedges; thou has brought his strong holds to ruin.’

      distraction

      Quieting The Restless Mind

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Jul 1, 2014
      Quieting The Restless Mind

      In our never ending age of anxiety, you hear so much about those who cannot put their restless minds to sleep. They awake from storm-filled dreams full of concerns over the loose threads in their lives. Will the irresponsible son ever settle down, how long can the battered daughter survive the abusive husband, will the youngster learn to focus better in school and not be so disruptive? Did I remember to…

      rearview mirror

      Almost Eternal

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Jun 28, 2014
      theres a dance in the old dame yet

      As I fast approach my Biblical threescore years and ten, I have no particularly sad feeling about entering my seventies or worrying about mortality. I certainly have much left undone and much to do, so I’m just planning on increasing my pace. After all, we’ll all be gone too soon, as Mehitabel the alley cat with a sense of adventure in her morals used to tell Archie the poet, now reincarnated as a cockroach who could only type in lower case, in the old Don Marquis stories…

      our troubled world

      Something Wicked This Way Comes

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Jun 23, 2014
      Something Wicked This Way Comes

      I have just finished rereading Macbeth for the first time in many years. The actor Kenneth Branagh was on The Charlie Rose Show recently touting his production which is now playing in New York’s Park Avenue Armory. As we know, it’s a tale of ambition and treachery. But why read it again now in the throes of summer when we’re usually looking for “light reading suitable for the beach”?

      back to wholeness

      Conspicuous Gallantry

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Jun 20, 2014
      Conspicuous Gallantry

      In Paul Fussell’s book on WWI, The Great War And Modern Memory, a deep sense of irony pervades. A scholar of eighteenth-century English literature, he was heavily influenced by the satiric writings of Jonathan Swift and Samuel Johnson. During WWII, he served as a second lieutenant in the 103d Infantry Division where he picked up his “dark, ironical, flip view of war.” In an article he wrote for the PBS program The War, A Ken Burns Film, he said: “The war made me a foot-soldier for the rest of my life and after any war foot-soldiers are touchy.”

      primal energy

      The Inheritors

      by | 4, Add your Comment | Jun 18, 2014
      The Inheritors

      This week my wife Jody and I went to closing on the 5-acre meadow and woods that abuts our property in the Potomac Highlands of eastern West Virginia where we live. For many years it’s been a plot of ground that my neighbor in the next development over has used as a buffer zone to protect his privacy. This arrangement was fine with me, since it served the same purpose for me.

      poetry

      An advance with a comma

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Jun 15, 2014
      Searching for poetry by Satish Krishnamurthy

      As the story goes, the author fainted when the publisher’s five-digit advance arrived in the mail. Of course, for most of us scribblers this never happens. But it is a sweet thought to think anyone could put such a value on our “work.”

      I read an article in The New York Times this morning (15 June) by William Logan, a professor of English at the University of Florida, who was promoting the need for poetry in our lives.

      the idea of memory

      Ulysses Comes Home

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Jun 5, 2014
      Ulysses Comes Home

      I want to tell you about Floyd, but I think I might be able to best do it by first contrasting him with Walt Whitman and then by comparing him with Jim Corder, a university scholar who gave us a new appreciation in the 1980s and 1990s of language and the power of rhetoric.

      In one of his own anonymous reviews of Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman described himself as “one of the roughs” with a “face not refined or intellectual, but calm and wholesome — a face of an unaffected animal — a face that absorbs the sunshine and meets savage or gentleman on equal terms.”

      perfume of memory

      The Darling Buds Of May

      by | 1, Add your Comment | May 30, 2014
      The Darling Buds Of May

      This morning as I read Linda Pastan’s poem The Months in The Writer’s Almanac, I was once again reminded to live in the moment, not to think too much about upcoming calendars or events planned days, weeks, or months from now. She begins her thoughts with an allusion to the German Romantic-era poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s haunting poem Der Erlkönig or The Elf King, an image of Death pursuing a child held by his father as they both race forward on horseback. When I first read the poem eons ago in a second-year German class…

      life in the wild

      Bedazzled By Delight

      by | 0, Add your Comment | May 26, 2014
      Bedazzled By Delight

      The awful thud against the window in the sunroom made Jody jump up and rush outside where she found the small Downy Woodpecker on the deck. As she has done previously, she picked him up gently and held him in her warm hands as he shivered from the collision. At first we didn’t think he was going to make it, but he was able to move his head which told us our little dive bomber had not broken his neck. Living amidst the wooded hills of far eastern West Virginia with the Shenandoah Valley just over the ridge line of the Great North Mountain, we are daily observers of life in the wild.

      stay open, forever

      Outfoxing The Gods

      by | 2, Add your Comment | May 18, 2014
      Outfoxing The Gods

      When I recently stumbled onto a scene complete with cap and gown at James Madison University with students practicing for their upcoming graduation ceremony, I thought them all so young and unprepared for the world they will now become more a part of. Despite my inner congratulation to them, I was also reminded of a story from Isaac Bashevis Singer about how the Jews in the Polish shtetls he wrote of rarely admitted good fortune. And if they did, they would quickly add “kinahora”–let the evil eye not see.

      our nature?

      Living and Dying With The Wild-Eyed Gods Of War

      by | 4, Add your Comment | May 11, 2014
      Living and Dying With The Wild-Eyed Gods Of War

      I recently got embroiled with a friend over the eternal question of why nations go to war and whether the drive to fight is so embedded in our nature that we cannot avoid war. He shrugged off the question, since he felt it was kind of a silly issue. Of course, mankind will always be at one’s throat for one reason or another. Been that way since cave man days and will go on throughout the future. This response seemed so cavalier to me, a cynic’s view of everyday news…

      dreams

      Ropes of Sand

      by | 0, Add your Comment | May 4, 2014
      Ropes of Sand

      “We are such stuff
      As dreams are made on, and our little life
      Is rounded with a sleep.”–The Tempest

      In waking from my dreams, I try to think of what our Jungian instructor has told our class about ways to remember them and then to try to make sense of what we have gone through the previous eight hours or so. When I turn off the lights, I find myself anxiously looking forward to the host of characters, known and unknown, current and past, who will come a visiting and who will invariably entertain, hopefully illuminate, possibly frighten, but most of all baffle me.

      stupidity and crime of war

      Way Stations To Heaven

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Apr 14, 2014
      Way Stations To Heaven

      Before I fell asleep last night, my wife Jody read aloud to me from her copy of Barbara Kingsolver’s book The Lacuna. The passage she chose was a diary entry that opened:

      “Tonight’s news: the Allies broke open the dikes along the Netherlands coast, letting in the open sea and drowning thousands of German soldiers in the flood. Like the Azteca opening dikes to drown Cortés and his men on the shores of Lake Tenochtitlan. But fiction is nonsense, the war is real. Tomorrow the farmers of Walcheren will wake to see a tide standing over their crops, the floating corpses of their cattle, every tree in the land scalded dead by the salt on its roots. The glory of war is so frequently disappointing.”

      the writer and the spy

      A Tale of Two Men

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Apr 7, 2014
      A Tale of Two Men

      And in the midst of hell’s a poppin’ lives, Peter Matthiessen and Thomas Polgar were reflective men who wanted to see what was on the other side of the door. They were realists who sought answers, who didn’t pretend the false was true and did not buy into fantasy. Most importantly, they were not afraid to look in the mirror and take a measure of the value of their lives, their legacy, what would endure from their stay on this rock.

      winter without end

      A Place Of Greater Safety

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Mar 30, 2014
      A Place Of Greater Safety

      “Every day we have been ready to start for our depot 11 miles away, but outside the door of the tent it remains a scene of whirling drift. I do not think we can hope for better things now. We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write any more.”

      So reads the last entry in the diary of Captain Robert Falcon Scott. It’s dated 29 March 1912 as he and three companions have made a valiant but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to return safely from the South Pole. His team had gotten to the Pole in January only to discover that the Norwegian Roald Amundsen had gotten there first a month earlier.

      going to the groomers

      A Shaggy Dog Story

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Mar 28, 2014
      A Shaggy Dog Story

      My dear wife Jody got a good chuckle recently when I asked about her “beauty parlor” appointment. Seems as though I’m so behind the times that I didn’t know that expression went out of style probably in the days when Jimmy Carter was president. So yesterday when m’lady scooted down the driveway with our hirsute Sheltie, Mr. Sheldon, in the front seat, I was sympathetic and in solidarity with him that he was being dragged to a “dog groomer,” the equivalent I’m sure to a trip to the vet to be neutered. And being an especially scrappy little lad with a country boy delight in rolling about in natural stuff like deer poop, he certainly would have had his tail between his legs had he even thought he was being ferried to a sort of canine beauty parlor…

      the written magic

      The Writing Life: Et in Arcadia Ego

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Mar 25, 2014
      The Writing Life: Et in Arcadia Ego

      As I try to understand the need I have to write about what I see and what I think I believe, I find that I continue to narrow the themes that especially occupy me. I’ve got the main ones down to under a dozen I believe–from love and commitment, to friendship and loyalty, to success and disappointment, to fragility and death, with more than a couple of stops in between. Although I’m not convinced it’s an “age thing,” the theme of death seems to be creeping in more and more.

      finding peace

      The Bolt of Rolling Thunder

      by | 7, Add your Comment | Mar 17, 2014
      The Bolt of Rolling Thunder

      Years ago when I was a reluctant warrior on a battlefield far, far away and now almost forgotten, many people died for no real reason. That time was one of great discontent. As Sherlock would say,

      “It’s the East Wind that takes us all in the end, the terrifying force of ‘rolling thunder’ that lays waste to all in its path. It seeks out the worthy along with the unworthy and plucks them from the face of the earth. It is both the blunt as well as the sharp instrument, the club and the dagger, precise and without remorse. ”

      The “rolling thunder” got many of us, friend and foe alike.

      galumphing

      Child’s Play

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Feb 14, 2014
      Child's Play

      He always held his pencil differently from the rest of us. While we philistines labored to be little Norman Rockwells desperately trying to make the faces we sketched look at least human, he glided over the paper with an ease none of us could ever duplicate. His faces were human, but they were in a Picasso-like abstract style. The noses were there but they sometimes overlapped the mouth and eyes and were out of proportion. Our teacher in middle school was not in the least amused and totally disinterested in how his mind was able to see the assignment in such a different way. All she could tell him was to quit “wasting time” and …

      we were soldiers once and young

      Long Time Passing

      by | 5, Add your Comment | Feb 9, 2014
      Long Time Passing

      Of all the distinctive experiences in my life, there have been only two that have totally brought me to a halt, changing my landscape to the point that the line before and after are dark and broad strips as though made with a blunt and heavy magic marker. There is no ambiguity that the line is one of separation. One was my tour of duty in Vietnam from 1968-69. The other was the death of my late wife, Lilian.

      oft we mar what's well

      Dance To The Music Of Time

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Jan 27, 2014
      Dance To The Music Of Time

      The practice Sunday morning went well and my wife Jody said that I had “nailed” the playing of my alto sax part of The Black Cat Rag, a snappy and quick-paced piece of music by Frank Wooster and Ethyl B. Smith written in 1905. It has been a tough piece, however, for me to get my fingers around in order to dance fast enough to keep up with the light-hearted but sprightly pace. When the time came later in the afternoon…

      suffering faith

      Be A Long Time Gone

      by | 10, Add your Comment | Jan 1, 2014
      Be A Long Time Gone

      I suspect there is often a child in a family who is able to escape the confines of the worst kind of restrictive life. Perhaps just getting away from people who have squeezed the vision of possibilities into a speck is beyond our power to appreciate, especially at the moment when we leave their world behind. It is a moment when the air rushes into the lungs and the body can fully breathe. We must shed them and slough off our old skins if we are to become more ourselves.

      proud of my ancestors

      Throughout Time

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Dec 24, 2013
      Throughout Time

      On the back of my daughter’s car is a sticker that proclaims:

      I dream of a world where chickens
      Can cross the road
      Without having their motives questioned.

      She has other amusing stickers on her car, including an image of an early hominoid that reads, “Proud of my ancestors.”

      now is the winter

      Shelter From The Storm

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Dec 18, 2013
      Shelter From The Storm

      December has been a cold month. Perhaps when our time comes, it is best to go in winter with its short days and long and dark nights, amidst the bitterness of storms that take our remaining warmth. I think my time should be a moment when I have finished my work, tidied up my tools, kissed those I love goodnight, and not have to worry about what new change is afoot in the world. My exit will perhaps be best when rebirth is still months away from the first green of spring.

      duty to share

      Fact or Fiction

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Nov 12, 2013
      Fact or Fiction

      A friend of mine recently came out with her first novel which was so delightful that I wondered if I could do the same. Needless to say, I’m discovering that it ain’t easy. All my life, I’ve been writing short essays, not fiction, on my take of what’s happening. I don’t write diatribes or commentary, though. There’s enough of that on the opinion page of any newspaper. In fact, we stopped our subscription to our local rural paper, since I couldn’t help myself from reading the owner’s nonsense each week and then fulminating over how worthless his ideas were and how pathetically he expressed them. But I couldn’t help myself.

      coming to terms

      Brace for Impact

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Oct 26, 2013
      Brace for Impact

      In Rabbi Joe’s class this week on Mussar, the Jewish ethical, educational and cultural movement that developed in the nineteenth century in Eastern Europe, I heard the words of the author Anne Tyler echo in my ears. In her book The Beginner’s Goodbye, she startles the reader right off by having the main character say,

      “I have a couple of handicaps. I may not have mentioned that.”

      a changed man

      A Life of Crime

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Oct 13, 2013
      A Life of Crime

      When you grow up with a hooligan in the neighborhood, you learn quickly to stay alert and to fight back or forever be a patsy to his terrorist tactics. I have Frank to thank for my first bloody nose and other important lessons in life, such as how to handle a hard grounder to third base. But he was a tough kid and a bully.

      colors against the shadows

      Light In October

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Oct 8, 2013
      Light In October

      The American marten’s body this morning had lost its lustrous sheen my wife Jody and I had marveled at yesterday when our dogs found it in the woods just off our drive. In the eighteen years I have lived here, this is only the second marten I’ve seen. I only got a glimpse of the first one years ago as he darted down off a rock and disappeared alongside the stream. We have no idea what killed this one, although we have coyotes and fox here who are natural predators.

      part of the family

      Wag More, Bark Less

      by | 6, Add your Comment | Oct 5, 2013
      Wag More, Bark Less

      One day, as I was returning home from town, there he was, standing alongside the busy highway just waiting to be run over by one of the timber or chicken trucks that come roaring down the road. We looked at one another for a second with resignation in our eyes but not spoken before I stopped by the side of the road to rescue him. I got him across the road where he stood beside me rather shakily. As I checked in a futile effort for a collar and any ID, my hands ran over a cluster of fully engorged ticks on the back of his neck. After frantically pulling off all the obvious ticks, I picked him up and put him in the back of Jody’s Mini Cooper. He cried as I cradled his chest when lifting him.

      philosophically speaking

      An Ethical Question

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Oct 3, 2013
      An Ethical Question

      Certitude is one conviction for me that remains on the tip of the sword of Damocles, forever dangling out there within my eyesight and my concept of where I don’t want to be. As I grow older and less trusting of what appears to be progress but really isn’t, I can understand why some people just drop out, go off the grid, or simply refuse to participate in conventional life because of what they consider to be its increasingly chaotic and alienating nature

      forgo any stumbling

      While There’s Still Time

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Oct 1, 2013
      While There's Still Time

      Finding an old friend after all these years, sitting down for coffee with an ex-lover after an accidental meeting on the street, reconciling with a family member after a period of silence so long that neither of you can remember why your worlds went quiet, how lovely to know there are second chances.

      The overlapping of love and laughter is perhaps all I really want from this life. I recently read the words of the poet W. S. Merwin who said,

      “One is trying to say everything that can be said for the things that one loves while there’s still time.”

      the weight

      The Unbearable Lightness Of Being

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Sep 29, 2013
      The Unbearable Lightness Of Being

      All he could say was “I doubt it.” The message was somewhat unexpected, since we still held on to the faint hope that Charlie and his wife Mary Kay, my childhood friends, might be able to make the seven-hour trip over to visit us this fall. With her illness no closer to remedy or even accurate diagnoses from when I visited them over a year ago, he added the sad touch that “perhaps spring” before admitting that he doubted then either.

      the covenant

      Read The Books, But Toil The Soil

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Sep 22, 2013
      Read The Books, But Toil The Soil

      In a surprise garden event, the groundhog had bypassed all the ripening vegetables to get to the lamb’s quarters, an edible but common invasive weed. In his book More Scenes From The Rural Life, Verlyn Klinkenborg stands unnoticed for a few seconds watching the voracious eater who has made the effort to break into the garden only to nibble on a weed. He likens the surprising incident to discovering a burglar in your house intent on shampooing the carpets rather than stealing the valuables.

      neither darkness nor light

      The Last Thing On My Mind

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Sep 18, 2013
      The Last Thing On My Mind

      The music played. She danced 
with slight, tentative steps, a tulip
 too heavy for its stem.

      When I read my copy of The Writer’s Almanac this morning, these words from the poem ”Old Age Home” by Burt Kimmelman jumped out at me, especially as I continue to ponder the death of a friend who had passed recently and most unexpectedly. Sitting in the last pew of the church listening to the well-scripted mass “celebrating” her life, I was left wondering about the simplicity and conviction of those who spoke.

      idea of place

      A Place In The Woods

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Sep 5, 2013
      A Place In The Woods

      What was in the closet in Virginia Woolf’s room of her own? What kind of high-collared blouses were hanging there? Was there a hat box to hold some of the wide brims she liked to sport? What did her sense of place give her?

      The idea of place has always been on my mind. I have a firm spot in my recollections of the places I have lived, where I have planted gardens, where I have enjoyed good times and bad with loved ones, and where I have buried pets and memories.

      remembering elmore leonard

      Death Comes For The Dickens of Detroit

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Aug 21, 2013
      Elmore Leonard

      “I got one question. How you gonna get down that hill?” the hero Paul Newman asked Richard Boone, the classic villain, in the film adaptation of the 1967 film Hombre, based on the Western by Elmore Leonard. The story is of John Russell, played by Newman, a white man raised by Apaches and forced by circumstances to be responsible for the lives of a group of people who despise him.

      a kind of magic

      The Importance of Birthdays

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Aug 15, 2013
      The Importance of Birthdays

      As I fast approach a birthday that will be my last one in this decade, I think of my granddaughter Lia who is not quite seven. Right now I’m ten times older than she. When she was here this week, she learned that my birthday is coming up in just a few weeks. She was somewhat curious about how old I would be but the mention of birthdays excited her into count-down mode and to talk the rest of the time about her own birthday in November and what kind of party she wanted.

      road weary

      Room At The Table

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Aug 10, 2013
      Room At The Table

      As I grow older and wearier of worldly causes and tilting at more and more windmills, I have learned to enjoy the company of like-minded souls more than the fray of battle. Perhaps the choice in my desires has always been there, longing to be free. I don’t enjoy being in the mud any longer wrestling with the pigs who take so much away from the table that everyone should enjoy.

      so long...

      Words of Farewell

      by | 5, Add your Comment | Aug 5, 2013
      Words of Farewell

      Most of us wonder from time to time about the day we will die. What time of year will the end come and where will we be? Since it’s going to happen to all of us eventually, let’s at least hope it’s not behind the wheel watching a big truck coming at us left of center. Even worse would be in a hospital room tethered to a life support system hearing vague voices talking medical jargon. Don’t know of anyone who looks forward to that.

      What intrigues me is who will be the last person we hear or who hears us. Will it be a loved one or a paramedic sitting in the back of the ambulance with us?

      remarkable lives

      Birthday Greetings From The Other Side

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Jul 30, 2013
      Birthday Greetings From The Other Side

      Monday, 29 July, was the birthday of the poet Stanley Kunitz, who was born in Massachusetts in 1905. Today is the birthday of my father, my namesake although he always went by Brooks, our name in common. He was born in southern Ohio, in the Appalachian hills east of Cincinnati in 1911.

      Stanley was poet laureate of our country twice, the last time in 2000 when he was 95. He lived to be 101 and published his last book, The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects On A Century In The Garden, shortly before he died. My father was a stationary boiler engineer and didn’t quite make it to his 73d birthday. He also liked to garden.

      the ethics of living

      Where Have You Gone, Albert Schweitzer?

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Jul 25, 2013
      Where Have You Gone, Albert Schweitzer?

      After the game, the King and the Pawn go into the same box. –Italian proverb

      When I was a young boy, I thought I wanted to be a medical missionary like Dr Albert Schweitzer. I remember him being frequently in the news in the 1950s for his work at the Lambaréné Hospital in today’s Gabon, known as French Equatorial Africa at the time.

      the apollonians

      The Play of Time

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Jul 24, 2013
      The Play of Time

      “When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it happened or not, but I am getting old, and soon I shall remember only the latter.”–Mark Twain

      Reading this Twain quote recently, I laughed but wondered how true it is. I believe the memory issue is a bit like the joke of older people hearing only what they want to hear and pretending not to hear all the rest. Of course, we are all guilty of “selective” memory at times. After all, why not block out unpleasant memories if they’re just going to drag us down.

      the garden

      Summer’s Bounty

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Jul 15, 2013
      Summer's Bounty

      My wife Jody just excitedly charged into my “command post” beaming with pride and waving two lovely yellow summer squash in my face. These beauties had volunteered in her compost pile that this time of year is a smoldering mound of leaf mould and “black gold” from our local farmer’s cow pasture. Summer may be hot and steamy, but what could be finer than picking your own lunch.

      life lived fully

      That Which Doesn’t Kill You …

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Jul 12, 2013
      That Which Doesn't Kill You ...

      That which doesn’t kill you reportedly makes you stronger. Or at least Friedrich Nietzsche thought so, as he wrote in Twilight of the Idols. If we’re talking about how life can sometimes sneak up on you in a “gotcha” kind of moment and all of a sudden everything is now up for grabs, the drama seems to play itself out in its own particular ways. This happened recently to a man I know when doctors told him he had an incurable disease that would take him in short order.

      appalachian summer

      Midsummer Night’s Dream

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Jul 11, 2013
      Midsummer Night's Dream

      The indolence of summer’s heat is a reminder that some of us are children of a different god. In this land, we need no brick and mortar churches to pray in. The middle of summer protects us from too much impetuosity and staves off many temptations. We become mindful of the fleeting nature of our lives, since time always seems to be slipping by. The hopeful enthusiasm of the first warm days of April has given way to the languorous stillness that slows our motion and beckons us to stop, to sit. It is a time for contemplation, to give oneself over to wonder, to imagine what comes next and how many more summers we have left in us.

      it changes you

      Slinging Mud

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Jul 5, 2013
      Slinging Mud

      “Nobody throws up the same way.” With this kind of humor from our instructors offered early on, I knew I was going to enjoy this week-long class for beginning potters taught by Ken and Melody Shipley.

      As I’ve done for over a decade, I made my way in late June to Brasstown, North Carolina, in the far western reaches of the state and the home of the John C. Campbell Folk School. You can Google FolkSchool.org and read all about the school…

      Friends

      Farewell, My Lovely

      by | 8, Add your Comment | Jun 11, 2013
      Farewell, My Lovely

      This morning a little before noon, he went gently from the ledge, dear…

      As I sit here wondering how I can talk about my “best boy” Hankie without being overly sentimental, I can’t help but cry knowing that my companion who was pushing fourteen is no longer with us. He showed us he still had a voice just a few days ago when he barked as I was brushing him.

      Southern People

      The Invisible Labyrinth of Time

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Jun 9, 2013
      The Invisible Labyrinth of Time

      “Time forks perpetually toward innumerable futures. In one of them I am your enemy.” So goes a sentence from The Garden of Forking Paths by Jorge Luis Borges, one of South America’s most influentials writers of the twentieth-century.

      I was reading this short story this morning when Robert, a fellow who lives nearby and operates heavy machinery and drives a large dump truck, arrived with four cubic yards of mulch I had ordered earlier in the week. I met Robert and his brother David nearly twenty years ago…

      Loving to Read

      In Praise of the Short Story

      by | 4, Add your Comment | Jun 5, 2013
      In Praise of the Short Story

      It’s difficult to stop reading when startled by a sentence that goes like this: “It makes no difference that my interrogators are all dead.” I stumbled on that line when reading a recent New Yorker review of Edna O’Brien’s new memoir Country Girl.

      Like most folk, I enjoy a good read, but as I grow older I find my patience for long drawn out novels is not what it used to be. I know some people luxuriate in the slow unfolding of plot over many hundreds of pages, the development of character as it plays out over time and space in a good long read, and the final clue that falls into place to eliminate the innocent and point the accusatory finger at the villain in a complicated mystery.

      This Side Of The Rainbow

      The Power of Music in a Discordant World

      by | 0, Add your Comment | May 20, 2013
      The Power of Music in a Discordant World

      When I sat in that old church built in the Gothic style surrounded by the music that the organist was playing, I was thankful to be in such a peaceful setting, far away in body and spirit from the violence that holds so many lives hostage in this world of cruelty and tumult.

      In a church where people pray for peace, forgiveness and love–all of which seem so lacking in our world–I wonder at times how we manage to reconcile what we wish the world were like and how it actually is. Sitting there in such a calm and safe spot, the lyrics of “Over the Rainbow,” a make-believe place where there are no troubles…

  • Worthy of Comment






  • Health Care: U.S. vs. Canada



  • 'L-G-B-T' - James Corden
    Sings for Transgender Troops



  • "The Elections Are Rigged" Arnold Schwarzenegger On Trump, Congress, Gerrymandering

     

  •