From October, 2016

Every ordinary person

“She needed a hero so she became one.” I’ve been teaching my students about heroes and hero stories. We talk about the literary criteria. A hero is someone set apart, often from birth. We identify with them. They have a code of honor that requires them to take action when other’s won’t or can’t, usually on…

A Litany of Blessing

BILLY COLLINS WROTE A POEM about seeking or searching, something about a gorilla he discovered while reading a book about architecture. It’s kind of about seeing details, finding something meaningful when you least expect it. I know I shouldn’t, but I see all of his poems like this, hidden deep metaphors below layers of sarcastically painted…

The Land of no Nod

The fiery hue of the sunset exploded across the skyline like the remnants of a blazing volcano. I exhaled, closed my eyes for a second, and opened them just in time to see the stoplight turn green.  With a renewed sense of calm, I pushed the gas pedal down just as a series of honks…

Wild mind

“The more civilized man becomes, the more he needs and craves a great background of forest wildness, to which he may return like a contrite prodigal from the husks of an artificial life.” —Ellen Burns Sherman This summer I did three backpacking trips in five weeks. I keep wondering what it is that propels me…

Unsolicited Advice

I smelled her before I saw her. A floral-fruity sweetness clouding the crisp morning. I looked up in time to see her path cross mine. Just long enough to see her finger the hem of her silk dress–a frock that belonged in a Free People catalog, not on an actual body in 48-degree weather. A…