Monthly Archives December 2014

To a Falling Leaf in the Wind

Just the few of you left now,
your stubborn clinging spent,
a mighty December wind
sending you finally to freefall.

Reclined in the steaming waters,
I see you torn from your branch,
spinning violently, a micro tornado,
coming to rest smack in the middle

of my forehead.

You are small, seven-pronged, maple,
and as you become my third eye,
I look with renewed surprise heavenward,
your cycle now blessed and complete.

***

For periodic and brief posts of inspiring words from the world’s great thinkers and artists, accompanied by lovely photography from my Flickr friends, see my public Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/TraversingBlog

Twitter: @AndrewHidas

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/93289242@N07/

Deep appreciation to photographer Elizabeth Haslam for use of the banner photos at the top of this page. Some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing, see more at: https://www.flickr...

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Second Annual Holiday Photo Gallery

It’s such a sweet time of year, sugared stuff everywhere in front of us. So in the spirit of the season, today I offer you yet another heap of delectables, but these of the eye candy variety that contain abundant nutrients but not one more calorie to add to your seasonal total. How’s that for a generous, health-wise, and environmentally conscious holiday gift?

You’re welcome!

All thanks and praise to the marvelous photographers whose own generosity and creative flair have added such rich visual context to the words on this page over the past two years. I hope these single shots from 10 photographers from around the world (11, counting the rotating shots above) inspire you to visit even more of their work, available via the links listed on the bottom of this page. So without further ado:

Not quite sure which of these photographed objects is the more spectacular…

Metate Arch in the Escalante Wilderness by Jo...

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Would Jesus Be a Waterboarder?

How do murder and torture square with a religious point of view?

Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, practicing Methodists both, expressed no hesitation recently in curtly dismissing the Senate investigation into the CIA’s torture tactics against suspected terrorists. Cheney called the entire report “a crock,” and Bush praised agents who approved and administered waterboarding and other torture methods as “patriots.”

Well.

One cannot read the actual descriptions of what takes place during euphemistically labeled “waterboarding” and “enhanced interrogation techniques” without cringing. To imagine yourself (or perhaps worse, your loved ones) on that table, suffocating, passing in and out of consciousness, or deprived of sleep for a week, hallucinating, is to enter a sort of hell, created and sustained by the darkest impulses and imaginings of human beings.

The God of the Old Testament and the A...

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“I Contain Multitudes”: Carrying on Through Darkness and Light

Forty-five years ago today, I got a “Dear John” letter from my high school heartthrob who had gone away to college. It was my first major heartbreak (there would be others), and as I collapsed onto my bed sobbing while beholding my girlfriend’s sincere but crushing words, my mom hurried into my room and proceeded to pull me close to her as I wept onto her shoulder for a good long while.

Ah, me…

I have always remembered the date because it was one I had marked on my internal calendar many months before. My junior college basketball team was scheduled to play the UCLA freshman team that night at none other than fabled Pauley Pavilion, and if you don’t know anything about basketball, taking the court to play at Pauley against a team with “UCLA” inscribed on their jerseys was akin at the time to having one of your paintings hanging for a day in the Louvre next to a Picasso.

So here I was, ready for the...

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Poem From a Marriage’s Demise

THE EMPTY CLOSET

The suddenly cavernous closet
sprawls in front of me and stops my breath,
as if a street sweeper has barreled through,
and not knowing me from a leaf from a blouse,
has sucked all into its maw, its dark convulsive dark.

A black stain on the door frame
catches my blurred wetting eye
(her coat? her dress? did she have a black dress?)
and I reach to touch it, curious, my head bumping
the now empty hangers, setting them to swinging.

Their echo crumples me.

Half a wall of racks and a long row of
shelves are mine to launch this new life,
and I should weep for the freedom wrought
by their purchase, which I would,
were the price not so colossal and fierce.

“In my beginning is my end,”
wrote a poet more profound than I;
I trust he had it backwards,
and an endless beginning can yet be mine—and hers, too—
beyond hangers swinging eerily after twenty-seven years.

***

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