I fell in love with you again

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Through the sunlight on another woman’s hair, I fell in love with you again. I heard a soft sound like a flute – sharp breath passing over a tiny hole – and remembered the feeling of holding you in my arms when we were both young, that feeling of holding on to everything I would ever need.

In the swaying of another woman’s wrist, I fell in love with you again. So slight. So light. It swung so freely, as if a stiff breeze could start it flapping uncontrollably, but I understood, in some strange way, the hidden strength inside the long slender fingers trailing beneath it.

Words, to a writer
Colors, to a painter
Melody, to a musician
All are mirrors of a lover’s smile
Echoes of the sounds you made when I was still in you

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Believing

If you believe in the theory of time
You will understand reversal of fortune
If you believe in love at first sight
It has happened to you
If you believe in honor
Every wind will blow right through you
If you believe it mercy
You will turn fire to ice
If you believe there is more to life than what you can know with your senses
Then there is more
Even if you never find out what it is
If you believe in love
Everything will make sense
If you believe in believing
You will have as much as anyone has ever had
believing

The Event

Going into the event, of course Joseph would have preferred success to failure but the final verdict on something like that can change over time. The important thing was for the event to take place. There was no way things could continue the way they were. There would be violence and possibly, even likely, war. If war came the judges would no longer be able to enforce the law.

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Joseph was as prepared for the event as he would ever be, to the point that he was growing impatient, as if the longer he waited now, the longer the odds of success.

The judges had been set for a while. The weather looked clear for the foreseeable future. Nobody was getting any younger.

“Now is the time,” somebody whispered and that was all it took to start the event.

Joseph looked around in a sick panic until he saw Sara. He made a slow, determined path to her. Whatever the event was going to be, he wanted to go through it with her. “Now is the time,” he said.

“I heard,” she said.

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The judges had heard too, so had mobilized to observe, record, analyze, and pass history’s first judgment on the event.

“I’ve been living in a dream,” he said.

“We all have,” she said.

The event spread from its epicenter at rate halfway between a crow and the speed of light. It enveloped Joseph and Sara in mid-breath.

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I Have to Assume I’m a Racist

Reality changes all the time and it is never going to change back. We are never going back to the pre-Trump era or the one before the sexual revolution. We are never going back to racial purity.

I have to assume I’m a racist. I don’t think I am, but there are a lot of other people who don’t think they are who seem like they are to me. Racism, and the thing we call ‘race’ when we mean culture, are difficult to talk about because we live in a primitive society. We’ve built warehouses to incarcerate generations of young black men rather than talk about it. We say ‘the n-word’ because we have to be treated like children who aren’t allowed to say dirty words, too ignorant to understand their meaning.

Women and people of color who see me as a stranger must sometimes also see me as a danger. It would be reckless to treat me as a friend without getting to know me a little. To some people that feeling of instilling fear in strangers is a comfort, but it makes me nauseous.

Kurt Vonnegut said we’re still in the dark ages, and he’s right, but that doesn’t mean the dark ages won’t end any minute. Reality changes all the time and it is never going to change back.

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Notre Dame

I have thought for a long time that what we think of as American culture is in a lot of ways the heritage of the indigenous people of this continent. It’s not just that we use their names to call our rivers, our mountains, and our towns. Their spirituality has permeated all religions and philosophies that have taken root in this fertile land. Whether we came from Europe, or Africa, or Asia, the people whose home this was first are part of our history and destiny.

Another indelible part of our history and our destiny comes from Paris. Voltaire and Rousseau, L’Enfant and Lafayette, are also founding fathers of Les États Unis.

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I first saw the spire of Notre Dame cathedral on my honeymoon, 29 years ago this June. Today I saw it go down in flames and while I know there were no lives lost, and any life means more than an inanimate object, no matter how iconic, it feels like what we lost today is not inanimate. What we lost today was a piece of something we can’t afford to lose.

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Me and a bell that probably melted today

That had been our heaven

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I

We went to the place that had been our heaven when our bodies were ripe and the juices still flowed. We watched as our rivers became waterfalls and surrendered our voices to the roar.

II

We walked with a caution that bordered on cowardice and hid from the monsters that would tear us apart. We hid from our saviors. We hid from each other. We hid from ourselves.

III

Now that the clouds have turned into mountains there’s no turning back to the world that we knew. If my memory is as faulty as I think it is, that might be a good thing.

 

 

Something inside of you…

There is something inside of you that is not inside of most people. Even though I know that words will never exist for that something, I can’t keep myself from trying to find them.

It creates a strange and beautiful light. It glows. It is the rhythm and the melody behind a song no voice can sing, no instrument can play. It cannot be experienced with any of the five senses but is only more real because of that.

It animates every movement, so that your body curls and bends in ways that no other body ever has or will. But this is no mere animation. It is just as intense when you are in a deep sleep, curled in a ball, breathing loud and hard, with all the muscles of your face gone slack.

In my strongest moments it is fuel for a fire that will never go out.

In my weakest moments it overwhelms me.

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