Although I have thought about writing quite a bit in recent months and actually written a little, none of the finished work has landed here. Yesterday, however, a true hero left us. Amid the many fallen “heroes” of sports and political fame, Neil Armstrong was a man of great integrity and discipline. He was a man of stature, and his one small step inspired a generation of us to dream of flying long before popular movies glorified the space program or naval aviation. Neil Armstrong was a hero. He was certainly one of mine. Please see my poem Armstrong, a small tribute to a modest giant of American history.
A new memoir piece, Tsali, describes a mountain biking trip Debbie and I took in western North Carolina in the summer of 2011. It is set in a recreation area adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains that is rich in history, though the history is not always evident. Christopher Camuto describes the region well in his excellent book Another Country: Journeying Toward the Cherokee Mountains. Ron Rash also describes the area in his novel Serena, and Charles Frazier mentions the historic figure for whom the modern recreation area is named in his author’s note to Thirteen Moons, as incidents involving the historic figure served as the basis for an episode in the novel. I hope this post and my brief essay might lead you to one of those writers, or to the Tsali Recreation Area itself. If you go, enjoy the ride.
On Independence Day I independently published my novella, How I Know, on Amazon for the Kindle. I welcome comments on the e-book, and will post details here if a print version becomes available. Many thanks to all who read drafts of the story at various stages in its development!
Family trips in late 2010 resulted in some poems that capture lasting memories. For me, poems like these are like pictures in an album. See links to “This Time” and “Tree in the Cemetery” on the Poetry tab. Special thanks to my good friend, fellow poet, and honest critic Larry Dishon for his help with revisions on “This Time.”
The end of the school year meant the end of the only year that all three of our kids will ever be in the same school. The activities of the day gave me an opportunity to reflect on events and to write a new poem. Check out “Setting Up” on the Poetry page.
I learned this week that the child of some old friends had to undergo major reconstructive surgery. While sharing my thoughts and well-wishes with his parents, memories came rushing back of the scary week our daughter spent in a pediatric intensive care unit with septic shock from bacterial tracheitis. She recovered, thank goodness. After she was well, I wrote down some of my thoughts about the experience of having a child in the hospital. Some of what resulted appears at the “Hospital Poems” link on the Poetry page.
This afternoon, Annelise and I spent some pleasant time out on the patio compiling notes about some of the things we’ve done or seen. The result is three nice poems. Most of the words and all of the imagination is hers; only the form is mine. See Annelise’s debut under the Poetry tab.
I certainly do not expect to sway many opinions or drive consensus on the topic of health care reform. What I would like to accomplish is to get people to use their good and logical brains to think hard about the subject and reach their own conclusions. It disappoints me to hear smart people recite tired phrases from politicians and biased entertainer-journalists whom they believe to be right. Sometimes it saves time to let others think through details and offer a synopsis. On this topic, however, I believe people need to think hard not about the minute details that fear-mongers and entrenched stakeholders cite, but rather about the fundamental elements of the debate: who should care for whom, and who should pay. See my essay titled “Thinking about Health Care” for my thoughts on the subject.
An article in the New York Times on “slow blogging” inspired me to create this blog. I liked the idea of a slow blog because I did not like the idea of blogging every day, which is what I thought bloggers did. Now eight months after my first post, I’ve pretty much demonstrated the slowness at which I am capable of blogging. However if frames of reference in space-time are relative as prevailing theory holds, and if I’m moving away from earth at a velocity approaching the speed of light, then I may have posted today’s poem just seconds after my last post. It is only observers in an earthly frame of reference who notice an eight month gap. At least that’s what the truth of the day would have us believe. See my new poem Science, Fiction for additional thoughts on the subject.