A Year with EB White

"You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die. A spider's life can't help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that."-----from Charlotte's Web

I am a soul always drawn and fascinated by the idea of " A Year of...". A Year of Rumi. A Year of Calvin and Hobbes. A year cooking with Julia Child. A project that provides guidance for the year and a ruler we can measure inward growth in the course of our circle around the sun. One year, after an early marriage and an unsurprising--except to me--early divorce, I came across a book by Sue Hubbell titled A Country Year. I didn't plan for it to take a year to read, but it did. I only read it at night before I went to sl…

December's End. Forecast for Snow.

"Some people love waking to the sight of new snow. Fallen snow is fine, but I like the sight of it falling, fine as dust or so fat you can hear it land against the kitchen window. I like the tunnel of dry snow you drive through at night, the headlights blanking out a few yards ahead, and the feeling that you're driving into some abysmal vacuum. I like the ground-blizzards and the snow that slithers down the road ahead of you. What I like is the visual impairment snow brings with it, the way it obscures some things and defines others, like the wind."
                                                       ----Verlyn Klinkenborg from The Rural Life

Dinner Hour, December

by Eamon Grennan

In little dark-ringed frames of light the neighborhood is dining: heads nod to one another; candlelight catches on things---- threads of it snapped by knives and forks, the glass of water, the wine. No one

is not at home here except the man walking the block alone and peering in as if he were a visitor from beyond and wanted to feast his eyes again  on this picture of felicity, trying to read

the lips unrestrained and quick in talk, faces where light plays like a dog in water----haloes of hair, hands flying.

Fresh Starts

Snowy Night
by Mary Oliver

Last night, an owl
in the blue dark
an indeterminate number
of carefully shaped sounds into
the world, in which,
a quarter of a mile away, I happened
to be standing.
I couldn’t tell
which one it was –
the barred or the great-horned
ship of the air –
it was that distant. But, anyway,
aren’t there moments
that are better than knowing something,
and sweeter? Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness. I suppose
if this were someone else’s story
they would have insisted on knowing
whatever is knowable – would have hurried
over the fields
to name it – the owl, I mean.
But it’s mine, this poem of the night,
and I just stood there, listening and holding out
my hands to the soft glitter
falling through the air. I love this world,
but not for its answers.
And I wish good luck to the owl,
whatever its name –
and I wish great welcome to the snow,

Sunday in CinCity. The "Three Things I Know About Life...It Goes On" Edition

The inauguration is going to happen. People are still sniping on Facebook trying to make points against someone else's equally polarized snipe. This administration might stay around for eight years or eight days. It all seems to be in the hands of a distractible circus juggler on a high wire.

 What will not change is that parents will still be taking walks with their children, helping them with homework, worrying about coming home late. We will still need to feed our families and to share our love. The hungry need food. The homeless need shelter. The sick need healing, the dying comfort. A government can make that easier or harder, a priority or an obstacle. What they cannot do is to make it disappear. Life will go on with all the daily minutiae and dramas that absorb us. Some of our jobs may be a bit harder with the changes we see coming. Sharing the American pie and dream may be made be more difficult. But, life will go on. How it goes depends on us. 

"Where do go from here? …

Night Below Zero

by Kenneth Rexroth

3 AM, the night is absolutely still;
Snow squeals beneath my skis, plumes on the turns.
I stop at the canyon’s edge, stand looking out
Over the Great Valley, over the millions —
In bed, drunk, loving, tending mills, furnaces,
Alone, wakeful, as the world rolls in chaos.
The quarter moon rises in the black heavens —
Over the sharp constellations of the cities
The cold lies, crystalline and silent,
Locked between the mountains.

Please note: art by Nancy Boudreaux @ Offerings.

Sunday in CinCity. The Christmas Edition.

For Maiaby Gary Johnson

A little girl is singing for the faithful to come ye
Joyful and triumphant, a song she loves,
And also the partridge in a pear tree
And the golden rings and the turtle doves.
In the dark streets, red lights and green and blue
Where the faithful live, some joyful, some
Enduring the cold and also the flu,
Taking the garbage out and keeping the
sidewalk shoveled.
Not much triumph going on here—and yet
There is much we do not understand.
And my hopes and fears are met
In this small singer holding onto my hand.
       Onward we go, faithfully, into the dark
       And are there angels hovering overhead?