I’m gonna come out and say it — most years there’s at least one wonderful record I hear but cannot explain satisfactorily. In 2018, it’s Minor Empire, Uprooted (World Trip).
But pick up that CD for sure.
Sometimes the ocean in which we are the merest of ripples can deliver tiny joys. Today on our walk through the park, after seeing the rather yucky slug on the walkway, I mentioned that it seemed like years and years since we had seen any Woolly Bear caterpillars and how I remained fascinated (in fun) with their ability to predict the upcoming winter.
We then proceeded to see six of them, all very small, four edging along and two squished. Still have a little tingle from my words made fuzzy flesh.
From “Police Incidents”
First, a classic Students Are Back muck-up:
“At 11:13 AM, a caller reported that a couch was stolen from outside their apartment door. Later in the day, the caller reported finding her couch in another apartment. The resident said his roommates must have brought it in and the caller insisted it was her couch, according to the report.”
Next, some Street Surrealism:
“At 4:30 PM, a caller reported that a man approached the caller and her friend, asked to use their cell phone and said he needed to speak with Herbie Hancock, the jazz artist.”
I wrote about my life-changing first encounter with his work. That transcendent jolt was followed by I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream, Dangerous Visions, “A Boy and His Dog,” and so many others …
Joyce Carol Oates just put this brilliant comment on Twitter:
all we ever hear is NRA. who exactly are the gun manufacturers whose merchandise is being peddled? whose guns are killing citizens, thousands a year? CEO’s certainly have names. the anonymity of NRA gives it a spurious aura, like “act of God.” blood on the hands of–exactly whom?
When it’s too cold outside for a long walk, I work out in the basement, where inevitably I stare at storage boxes, mostly from Montana. I can’t bear to more than glance at anything I wrote as a teenager or young adult. I tell myself it’s because I didn’t really know how to write then. But it’s also because I’m not that guy, or those guys, anymore and I’m not sure I want to meet them and find out what I think of them. I know I believed foolish, naively happy and optimistic things and it was painful enough losing the illusions once.
It’s painful to sort through my long-gone parent’s possessions and letters and photos (I’m almost three times as old as I was when my father passed away). But I feel disrespectful, dismissive even, leaving everything in old, dusty boxes. Can only go on for so long, though, before I’m hit with a memory like this: The last time I dreamed I was in the house where I grew up — haven”t been there since the ’80s — I was the age I am now and I felt a crushing sadness.
At least the new boxes are tidy.
There’s a good argument to be made that the pagan god Saturn mutated into Santa Claus. As a Capricorn, I’m also a fan of Saturn. But as a sane person I must say he has a creepy backstory and seems like a very ancient type of god from a very violent world.