Oddments

In search of story


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Disconnections: December 5.18

Now is the time of projects

inspired by the glow of the season

so I undertake insanities

in full-blown leave of my reason.

The proof of project fever

— I needn’t offer more —

is how much December time

I spend upon the floor.

Virtuous organization

visual oversight

can only be accomplished

by wall-to-wall floor blight.

Consuming and invasive,

tentacled, rapacious,

projects change to crowded

rooms that once seemed spacious.

But all of that aside

there’s yet another bane

the consequence to me:

my joints in chorus complain,

“Deck the halls! Hang holly!

Spike the eggnog cup!

But please to keep this truth in mind:

what goes down must get back up!”

 

 


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Disconnections: December 2.18

 


UP is that place

to run

LEAVES are

for having fun

TREES are

for being goal

DOWN is that place

to roll

I used to be ten

I remember when

but I don’t think I’ll try it again.

 

 

Have you ever, dear reader, wanted to roll down a leafy hill long after you knew you’d be an idiot to try?

 

Thanks again to photographer S.W. Berg and Happy Birthday to D. J. Berg!

 

 

 

 


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Disconnections: November 21.18

 

Here, it says,

is the road —

there, the town.

Steward of the way

sure and lown.

In placid stony

hieroglyph,

with iron pipe

as cold serif,

not so neon

as GPS,

but cartographical

nonetheless.

Pre-dating pavement

and prim white fence,

cobwebby vines

for recompense.

 

 

More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg.

 


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Disconnections: November 18.18

 

Monument

to lasting function

or rouged and blowzy

extreme unction?

Wizened perhaps

in carburetor

atrophied

in accelerator

rusted, dented,

sedentary

yet with vital

commentary

to give me hope

there’s still some good

within my own

antique popped hood.

 

 

I do not know the creator so I cannot give credit,

but I can tell you this is part of a stop-the-car! display in Fortville, IN.

Is it public art or capital joke? In the eye of the beholder, yes?

 


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Disconnections: September 1.18

Many years ago, I taught in a pretty little red brick school across the street from the National Cathedral in D.C. I walked to and from school every day, right past that towering Gothic wonder, its gargoyles keeping wary eyes on me from their unfinished perches, sometimes its carillon belling from the clouds. Often I would stop in after school. Sometimes I was the only one there, or so it seemed. Always with a sense of unreality, I stood in that vast space, feeling both diminished and uplifted. Isn’t that the purpose of Gothic? Doesn’t it force our eyes up, and don’t our spirits follow? There was nothing there that wasn’t beautiful to me, in both the enclosed silence and the embrace of balance.

It seemed to shelter me and yet leave me open to some mysterious elements. I never quite believed I was there. I remember.

In that time, I learned what it meant to stand alone in that graceful vastness, I learned what it meant to fall in love with a classroom of sixth-graders, I turned 23.

I just returned to that cathedral to watch John McCain’s funeral, overflowing with the here and now. But part of me was back in the there and then. Through all those seated dignitaries, I could see that girl-woman who was me, her arms full of books and papers, moving in her snail’s pace, trying to absorb her fleeting present. She was very aware of transience.

I think she turned and looked at me, in her future, and I’m wondering what she saw.


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Disconnections: August 20.18

The chase and the catch, continued from yesterday.

You see “In search of story” at the top of my blog.  For me, trying to write a story is like trying to enjoy a root canal. But I listen to others in an effort to learn about story. And this is what bothers me about the machines: they yield the tidy catch, thereby rendering the messy chase obsolete and attendant stories extinct.

My Grandma Mauck and her siblings would fight to the verbal death about who was born when. With them, it was all about the chase. If they’d had Smartphones to consult, our Thanksgivings might have been quieter, but I wouldn’t have learned about their internecine wars and I’d have been deluded into thinking all my relatives were rational.

My Grandma O’Hern would celebrate summer, no matter how icky hot, with a mountain of pierogi; family and chairs would appear magically and morph into a small city around the table. If they’d had iPads, would I have heard the accounts of how Baby Edna had to walk because Grandpa’s hootch rode in the baby carriage?

How can I hope to develop any story-telling abilities at this point in my life when people are nose-dived into their gadgets, and mind only the catch?

It is arguable that if I don’t know how to tell a story by now I never will. I guess I am stuck in my own messy chase, trying to catch the skill of story-telling, dodging the thumbs of the world.