When I was young I had to earn my knowledge by exposing myself to painful, heartbreaking experience. In old age, knowledge requires equal tenacity in shielding my remaining fragments of innocence.
What I mean when I say “I love you,” and what it means when you hear it are two very different things. That’s where words break down. They can’t adequately describe the feeling, it must be demonstrated to be understood, if even that can do it.
I recently went to a memorial service for the mother of a friend. You can tell a lot about a person by the things people say about them when they’re not around, and by the memories of the people who love her. They talked about strawberry shortcake and Volkswagens; falling trees and fireworks; telephone callsContinue reading “Memorial – Ruth Detjen”
I We came from the place where they mold your dreams into memories that do not fade. We walked along the river that flows both ways until the machine ran out on us and the molten rocks flowed down the hills. We talked with the man who taught one of us how to swim andContinue reading “Like the back of my hand”
We live in an age of short attention spans and sound bytes, which would seem to suggest shallow imaginations but it might signify something very different: an increased ability to absorb more information in less time. One example of this optimistic interpretation is the fact that we are living in a golden age of poetry.Continue reading “James Baldwin and the Art of Empathy”