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Number of posts: 2
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Posts by Joey Ledford:
The great philosopher Mick Jagger sang it best: “What a drag it is getting old.”
One of the worst parts of the affliction the Stones’ song recalls is that not only are you putting on years, but the people you begat are getting that way as well. Or at least they are getting old enough that they don’t need the nest anymore.
ELKMONT, Tenn. — One spectator likened it to Aunt Melba’s Christmas lights. Another described the trek through the darkness to see the show as a Halloween for adults without candy and the annoying trips up steps to knock on doors. “Woo,” said a third. “This is SOOO cool.” This magnificent display of nature is known as Elkmont’s synchronized lightning bugs. Photinus carolinus, one of 14 species of fireflies that inhabit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, pick a two-week window each June to do their thing. Accounts differ when people are asked to describe this eerie explosion of fluorescence. From watching individual fireflies among thousands, it appeared to me that they light six consecutive times within about six seconds. Then darkness prevails for a like period before the cycle begins anew. Some felt the glow swept through the woods in a right to left wave. The phenomena appears to be […]
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It is the morning of October 3rd. As I have for the past more than forty October 3rds, I take from the cupboard a special kind of candle and light it. As I do so, I think about my father. It was in the early morning hours of October 3, 1967, in a hospital in Minneapolis, that my father died. It was a great loss. He was not yet 49, I was 21, and his death came way too soon for me to be done needing him. The candle burning on my countertop is called a yahrzeit candle. (yahrzeit literally means “year-time.”) Bur Read on →
My spouse of fifty years has a quirky brain. It looks for things that aren't there. Which is probably why one of his favorite poems is Antigonish or "The man who wasn't there," by Hughes Mearns. Yesterday, upon the stair, I met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today, I wish, I wish he'd go away... When I came home last night at three, The man was waiting there for me But when I looked around the hall, I couldn't see him there at all! Go away, go away, don't you come back any more! Go away, go away, and please don't slam the door... Last night I Read on →
The Confederate flags are now gone from around the incumbent marble Robert E. Lee, at eternal rest with his riding boots on in the innermost sanctuary of Lee Chapel in Lexington, Va. That is as it should be, for many reasons. One is historical. Our campus was a sanctuary of recovery from the Civil War, where “the sun falls through the ruined boughs of locusts/ Up to the president’s office.” That president was Lee, “in a dark civilian suit who walks,/ An outlaw fumbling for the latch, a voice/ Commanding in a dream where no flag flies.” These are lines from “Lee in the Moun Read on →
Some are born lucky. Others are born rich or marry into money. Still others create endless streams of opportunity. And perhaps when we can’t answer yes to the aforementioned, we can easily feel entitled. But in other ways, the playing field remains level. Certain attributes of the human condition we have control over, starting with the meaning we assign to the events of our life. And yes, positive events lead us to assign more pleasant meanings. There is enormous manipulation, pursued in the name of profit, to get us thinking about our bodies with a “cattle mentality.” Once we buy into what we “s Read on →