Category Odds & Ends

water words

wet   life   drip   moist   damp   cloud

here   yes   drink   suck   slurp   gulp

gone   none   parched   pinched   paucity

salve   swim   immerse   cleanse   anoint

where   there   mirage   drought   dry

slip   slide   ease   merge   one   spurt

grasp   groan   cracked   arid   shrivel

douse   dunk   splash   soak   wade.

now oh lord deep bless bliss wet

Water Play by Prashant Godbole

Hands to Heavens by Rob McIlvaine

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Twitter: @AndrewHidas

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewhidas/

Deep appreciation to the photographers!

Elizabeth Haslam, whose photos (except for the books) grace the rotating banne...

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Third Annual Holiday Photo Gallery

In my earliest days as a journalist, words were the thing. If meddlesome editors and art directors wanted to attach photos to the small ink marks of the alphabet that I committed to paper, fine, that was their business, but frankly, I could not have cared less. Seas of gray were fine by me.

That was not the only matter I was young and dumb about back then. But I won’t spend any more words elaborating on that here—it’s time again for the Holiday Photo Gallery!

Lights! Cameras! So much beautiful, nuanced storytelling action, oh my!

Here’s just a brief baker’s dozen+1 sample from the World of Flickr and its legions of generous, talented photographers who have helped liven up this page over the past 52 weeks. Behold…

If red is a power color, you may as well start being powerful down at your feet…

Girl Power, Red Boots, by Rachel Sian

So much thunderous action down there in the world of the small…

Drop ...

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Two Moon Poems: New and Full

The full moon tends to get all the best press and draw the most eyeballs and adulation, but for my money, the new moon (or at least the “new moon + 1 day”; more on that below) is every bit as worthy of our regard.

The full moon represents abundance, being topped out, awash and abursting, like the universal mother with breasts so full of milk she cannot bear to move another inch until she drains them into the avid awaiting mouths of her children.

The full moon lights up the entire earth; we must remain deep in shadow if we are to avoid its glare (as if we’d ever want to, unless we’re a burglar or thug).

But the new moon, that mere sliver of hope, is everything that abundance and fullness are not. Spare and subtle, it allows the stars top billing, encouraging their shine and prominence on the cosmic stage, generous to a fault...

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On the Joys and Virtues of Competition

Competition, as we know from Darwin, is built into the very fabric of existence. At a baseline level, it’s been all-out war from day one among plants and animals who compete fiercely for food sources, water, and the sunlight that helps them grow.

Nothing symbolic about this competition: If you’re a plant, you need to claim your little piece of soil and sun and cling to it with utter tenacity. If you’re an animal, you either succeed in escaping predators and tracking down prey or plant food for your daily sustenance, or you die.

Nature is very unforgiving. It merely shrugs as all living things navigate the carnage of daily competitive existence.

Darwin sketched a scenario of remarkable creativity and cunning as living things learn from and adapt to the forces trying to eliminate them...

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Notes on That Man-Manly Stoic Thing

Up until last Thursday night, San Francisco Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong had never hit a home run in a major league career that began in 2000 and has included long stints in the minor leagues and in the Japanese professional league. Then in a game against the Colorado Rockies in Denver, Vogelsong launched a ball over the right field fence for the First Home Run of His Major League Career.

That is always a seminal, uniquely gratifying moment in the life of anyone who has ever dared to dream of being a big league ballplayer.

As he circled the bases and began to approach the dugout where his giddy teammates waited for him with high-fives and backslaps at the ready, Giants announcers Mike Krukow and Duane Keiper had the following exchange:

    Krukow: Do you think he’ll smile?
    Keiper: “No.”
    Krukow: “Not even with his first big league home run…Down two runs, he will not smile…

An...

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