seek and you shall find
- Take, Strike, and Speak thebeautifuldue.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/tak… 1 day ago
- Ann Patchett on Stealing Stories, Book Tours, and Staying Off Twitter lithub.com/ann-patchett-o… via @lithub 2 days ago
- @microhuman Sure, Lori. Much grace your direction. 4 days ago
There is a matchbook in my pocket stemmed with words. I tear them out, one at a time, to strike against the grains of the day. My words become fire – warming, burning, casting light and shadow. Vintage matchbooks held twenty, equal to the number of smokes in a pack (in case you ever wondered). It is similar with the matchbook in my pocket, enough words to match the day’s moments. After that, quiet. Every morning the book is mercifully restored. And I am charged to take, strike, and speak to remember.
It was a world sweeter than we knew. Back then. Back when we tried to soothe babies to sleep in that rocking-chair built just like JFK’s. We were half-dead most days until we discovered the Exer-Saucer and Winnie the Pooh on VHS. Bouncing to that bear’s untamed cheer kept them glued while you and I napped or unforgot the pleasures of the flesh, or some days both. We had to be quick though. So we quicked. It was a world we thought would never end. Back then. Back when. And then it did. All those living-in-the-moment sermons are for suckers. We live moment-to-moment, each measuring another acre in the wood, a wood sweeter than we knew.
Dear Winn: Its 5:30am, and I’m sitting here with the sliding glass door open, looking at a moon completely full of herself. The air is cool outside, fallish. If I could halt time right now and hold it all in the palm of my hand, I would. I sure would. But like that Supertramp song says, “I must be movin’ on.” The dominoes start falling today, man. I leave this afternoon to help Will get some stuff back to Arkansas for college. I’ll turn right around and zoom back here so I can leave early Monday to help Sarah get some stuff to California for college. Actually those dominoes started falling yesterday as Abbey started her first day of high school. Yeah, they’re movin’ on. I told Meredith if we can just get to that first week of September, get everybody where they need to be, pay everything that needs paying, then I plan to take a good long nap. Yes, like that line in Rosanne’s sweet song – “when September comes.” I know you’ve got falling dominoes out your way too. I pray for you and your good family, that you’ll all be safe, and you’ll all keep loving one another. This’ll be your first fall in the new old farmhouse, right? My, my, a chance to see the good earth, from a fresh vantage point, hike her skirt and dance autumn’s steps round and round and round. My, my. Well, compadre, like Willie sings, keep your “hands on the wheel.” Lord I sure do love that song. And this precious, precious thing we call life. Coraggio. John
Come, all you bleary-eyed grown-ups worn down to the nub of love. Come and (and) (and) you put the load right on…well, you know. Come and I will give you jest. Seriously, step right up and take my joke upon you, the bon mot that its not up to you to save your world much less your self. Hilarious, right? My side-splitting payoff about weightless responsibility? Come and get it. But come like a child, because of such is…well, you know. *Matthew 11.28-30 – the gospel according to john
She came in late, having been out to dinner with a friend. She is soaking up these final days before leaving for college. Her mother and I were in bed watching five tiny girls and their quest for gold. Her mother had already surrendered to dreams, so she asked if she could watch with me. Only a fool father would deny such a request. So she sprawled across the bed’s foot while I tucked my knees to make room, my motions the olympic event of fathering, allowing her to grow beyond my reach. As she focused on those tiny five girls, I was spellbound at the blossoming young woman at my feet I used to carry in the crook of my arm. How does time fly so high, so fast? Practice, I guess. The breathless commentator finally said “Right now every little girl wants to be one of the final five.” In that golden moment’s wake I could have crumbled, but I kept good form. Practice, I guess. She stood tall, told me good-night-I-love-you, and we then joined her mother in dreams.
Its surprising how fast the old cold fear reared its head. We insist we’ve progressed yet what American can resist a good old fashioned Us vs. Russia story? King was Balboa, trained country-clean her pure heart pumping nothing but red, white and bluest. Efimova was Drago, clearly having stolen fire from the gods to evolve even more diviner. The battle ended the way we wanted it to, the way I wanted it to, cinematic-Americanly ever after. But let us not forget that earlier moment when we the audience booed Efimova. We booed her. Shame on us. We are stern against grace until we need it. And there above it all, above us all – Christ the Redeemer. Its chilling how fast the old cold fear rears its head.
He remembers a book advertised once – What We Think About When We Run – but he already knows his thoughts and his library shelves are fat so he decided to save his meager funds. Last night he went out for a quick run to blow off the stink, as they say (who is they?). He reasoned if he didn’t think too much when running but simply ran he could make good time and get back to see that Phelps stroke for more gold. He made it, and so did that Phelps. And so did that Ledecky, God bless her. She sang along to the National Anthem as the stripes and stars rose, and he got teary thinking about how beautiful she and that song are. He wished he felt such American pride when our presidential candidates take to the podium but he doesn’t. But he wished he did. He stayed up too late watching those high-flyer gymnasts who are clearly part girl part bird. But feeling that burn of pride in his chest is worth a slower-paced Monday morning for he’ll be able to compete in today’s talk. He’ll be able to add Oh say, did you see?