Posted in composition, COVID-19, creativity, Fathers, holidays, writing

Moving On….

Painting by Philip Froman

The painting above has no title. My father completed this when he was in his eighties, after taking up a brush for the first time in his seventies. If you look closely, and listen, you can almost hear the water crash against the cliffs, feel its force. Standing in direct contrast to this painting, is a lake scene he painted around the same time which conveys only silence and peace. Both represent the man he was, his reflections about his life, and acceptance of the choices he’d made.

***

For over a year I’ve been trying to sustain the appearance of writing, while not having any interest in writing. Other than the words on this blog, and the occasional letters to family and friends, I’ve produced nothing.

I can’t blame the virus, as tempting as it is. The ideas, and desire to shape them, started drying up long before COVID-19. It just took a year of solitude to accept it.

***

A composer friend suggested I should start composing again—tentatively, gently, as though he understood he was asking me to revisit a space I’d shuttered. I stopped composing after graduate school, for many of the same reasons I don’t write now.

I considered it briefly, grateful for the compliment, but then abandoned the idea. Sometimes we shutter spaces because they’ve become voids; and sometimes those voids become vacuums.

***

For the present, I will keep this site going. Information about books will remain, as will old posts, interviews, and guest posts. From time to time I might even recycle old material I think would be of interest, or entertain.

***

Wherever you are, please stay safe, be well, and care deeply for those you love. And thank you for reading and following.

©2021 All Rights Reserved

Posted in creativity, poetry, writing

When Words Fail

Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

WHEN WORDS FAIL

They are slippery, evasive, coy,
dangling on our tongues,
sometimes, yes, at the tip,
and sometimes on an edge,
not big enough to bite,
or near enough to taste,
resting on molars, or canines,
before vanishing
and reappearing in a flicker,
chuckling.

Once in a while, they are gremlins,
gumming up the works,
wreaking havoc.

But it always seems the ones we deeply crave,
those that will plait our thoughts
into a seamless chain,
dodge into remote, cranial crevices
when we call them.

And then it takes four or five or six words
to say, all too poorly, what one would have said—
the one which won’t be found in a thesaurus
because even its synonyms have hidden in solidarity.

Those are the words that keep us
imagining they’ve been sucked
from their shallow holes
into some bottomless eddy.

Those are the words that really bedevil.

Until, by some miracle—
spring, mostly,
their noses reemerge,
unguarded, quivering, curious,
and ready to multiply….

©2017 All Rights Reserved

Posted in cooking, creativity, food, human nature

Therapy

Have you ever noticed a scent coming back to you hours or days after you inhaled it, as fresh and as potent as it was? And have you noticed that memories associated with that scent come rushing back as well? And that the same thing happens with objects you may see? Or sounds you may hear? A train whistle fading as it passes, a siren rushing to an emergency? Wind chimes warning of an approaching storm?

My head has been swarming with thoughts and memories, dredged up by sensory overload. I could drown out the noise by focusing on yet another volume of fictional angst and fury that dwarfs my own, as I have been doing the past month, but today I yearn only to bake bread.

There’s something wholly satisfying about proofing yeast, the stringent, heady vapors it produces, blending ingredients, small batches at a time until they form a dough that can be twisted, pounded, and kneaded into a satiny mass, rolled into a greased bowl and left to rise, only to be worked again. And when the dough is ready to bake—having been dressed with beaten egg or butter, its aroma rises from the oven, saturating the air, replacing all the other offending scents and sights and sounds with the knowledge that nourishment and pleasure are in the future, along with the joy of that first warm bite, slathered with honey or butter or nothing.

How sweet to look at that glistening, golden braid, or round, or loaf, and say, I made that. How thoroughly soothing; how incomparably delicious.

©2019 All Rights Reserved