Category Personal Reflections

My War With Wisteria

Make no mistake: It’s war out there. Arduous, protracted war, in which prisoners are endured only if necessary, but their execution is preferred. In this witless zero sum game, sun and soil and water are the prizes, and brutal, single-minded purpose is the cost of pursuing them.

My name is Wisteria, and my goal is to cover every square inch of Earth.

Mind if I sidle in here underneath you for a spell?


Thankfully, wisteria won’t likely achieve its goal, but it will not be for lack of trying. To its no-doubt chagrin, it hasn’t (yet?) figured out how to survive and thrive in oceans or on tall chilly peaks, about which it remains ignorant. But here in the southeast, it knows all too much about surviving and thriving, having long since mastered the art of absorbing essential nutrients in great abundance after its major varieties were introduced as ornamental flowering vines from Asia in the early 1800s.


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Dogma Be Gone! A Brief Rant

Look, it’s not about the dogma!  Uncertainty abides! There is no countering the dazzlingly complex nature of all existence, from the lowliest ant (have you ever read up on ants, OMG!), to the far reaches of creatureless space, where we have somehow managed to employ our brains to send rocket ships careening along, loaded up with computers and sensors gathering information that gets translated into digital data which is…what, exactly?

Do you know? I don’t, not really!

But here’s one thing I’m certain of and would bet my life on regarding the why’s and wherefores and whereto’s of this world: It’s not about the damn dogma!

It can’t possibly be about the damn dogma, areyoukiddin’me?

The world is too big, and it overflows with stories about how it got here, who made it, for what purpose...

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How to Spend the Day When Your Laptop’s Gone Down the Highway in Your Pal’s Car

Sit down on convenient bench outside coffee shop where he dropped you.

Give 10 seconds to wailing and gnashing of teeth and cursing such absence of mind.

On 11th second, turn face up to sun.

Initiate multiple voluntary deep breaths.

Turn attention to coffee and cantaloupe slice you DID remember to remove from car.

Reach for phone to catch at least home page of New York Times.

Experience familiar exasperation of reading news shoved into hellishly cramped space that used to be your morning newspaper.

Think better of reading; cast face back to sun.

Espy actual, hard copy local weekly newspaper lying about on next bench.

Note cover story on aging.  (Synchronicity!) Decide to read it.

Note disappointment with story’s shallowness.

Vow to write something deep about aging one day.

Quickly acknowledge this will not be that day.

Climb on bike, which, unlike laptop, you had removed mindfully from rack at rear of ca...

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Ten Years of Blogging: A Retrospective

Ten years ago today, I hit the little blue “Publish” button that sits off to the side of my composing page here on the WordPress blogging platform. I’d actually finished most all final preparations on a long day’s Christmas Eve, keeping my designer/technical person on the phone an unconscionably long time from across the country as we worked through countless—and, of course inevitable—last-minute glitches and tidy-ups. (Thanks, Randall!)

Then I waited till after the holiday to post it. I figured it would only irritate potential readers to debut a blog requiring their attention in direct competition with the celebration of a messiah figure’s birthday that is tended to heavily by billions of people around the world.

That post on December 27, 2012 ran a lengthy 2,336 words in what was essentially a literary review of the novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson’s life work...

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Bodies in Motion: A Meditation

Sometimes, in the diffused light of dawn or dusk, or on foggy streets where almost indiscernible shapes begin to reveal themselves as a human being or two in motion, I will peer a little closer, catch a certain swing of arm, quickened cadence, bounce of head or forward bend and know instantly, “There’s Gene!” (Or Karen or Kate or Kelly.)

Our bodies in motion are akin to signatures, indelible gestures that mark and follow us throughout life. All our intimates (excepting the visually impaired) can spot us from the proverbial mile away.

But those signatures do share something profound in common: how badly, with what relentless intensity, our bodies seek to scrawl them across the firmament.

When he sold his camera equipment last summer, it was evident he was heading for a crossroads, the bitch of it being that none of those roads ahead had much of anything to offer him.

We commence this effort from the first m...

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