Archive for Family

A Word from the Author

 

 

Grabbed a bench after a five-hour hike in the Catskills . . . and pointed up. A beautiful day, inspiring and revitalizing.

Triggered

I had my first true “triggered” experience the other day. Where I was reading something and it took me right back to a painful memory.

The book was Stoner by John Williams. At the end of the book, he describes in detail the quiet moments of a dying character. It’s a brilliant passage, the last four pages of the book: a profound, moving description of the dying of the light.

I thought of my mother, who died on July 31st at age 95. I felt her last hours, imagined anew that experience, and tears filled my eyes.

And you know what?

I was grateful for that book. For that trigger that came without warning.

The beauty of a novel, just one of the beauties, is that you can stop reading. You can close the book, think your thoughts, manage those emotions on your own terms.

If we have deep feelings about events in our lives, those memories are going to be triggered somewhere, somehow. A cardinal alights on a branch and it reminds you of someone. The smell from a teacup. An empty park bench. There’s no hiding from the triggers, no way to avoid remembering.

John Williams in Stoner wrote an achingly beautiful scene in which the main character passes from the living. Inch by inch, moment by moment. For me, while it brought tears, it also gave solace.

I am heartened and enriched that books can stir us so deeply.

 

 

Not Loving the Hand I’ve Been Dealt in 3 Photos

Lisa took a photo of me playing cards. It’s become a regular thing in our home, the four of us frequently convene after dinner for highly competitive games of “Oh, Hell!”

I took Lisa’s original color photo and fooled around with simple iPhone edit features, then cropped it a couple of times, to come up with this angsty sequence. Mostly this post is because I wanted a way to see them together, like rolling film. 

 


Echo in the Snow

Took this snap on a morning walk, Monday the 4th, after a couple of inches of snow. Photo is a detail with a silvertone filter edited on, via iPhone. Nothing fancy. I just like the way my dog (lower right) disappears into the scene.

 

In Defense of Living in the Past

They say you shouldn’t live in the past.

“Be present in the here and now.”

But the older I get,

the more past there is.

It keeps piling up.

And, of course, that’s the only place

I can go to visit

some of my favorite people.

A favorite photo of my father,

Mr. “It’s five o’clock somewhere.”

Not a big drinker, don’t mean

to give that impression.

But he liked his Scotch.