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The Moment After Section
Almost 20 years later, I landed another job at another community paper. This one was in Yellow Springs, Ohio — perhaps you’ve heard of it — and the paper was well over 100 years old, with Quaker roots.
The moon this morning is a golden horn. To the south and west, the planets are shining — Jupiter, Venus. Yesterday at the same morning hour the moon was a creamy horn, caught, like an animal in a thicket, in a mesh of trees.
When I was six — and eight, and 10, but never again after then — I made valentines for everybody in my class. Everybody did. The rule was that you liked everybody, even those you suspected you didn’t like.
Years ago I had a friend, culturally but not religiously Jewish, who devised a third greeting: “Happy Hanukwanzamas!” I was there the day he worked it out on a piece of paper, fitting the three words together.
In memory, snow fell all winter those first two years. Our backyard became a closet stuffed with bridal gowns, frothy white forms smothering every bush and tree. I loved the stacked inches atop the clean curves of honeysuckle, and the transformed hemlock, a dark Pegasus spreading white wings.
Raven didn’t speak much about being sick. Instead, she brought my husband, a new friend, into her home studio. Brought out her pulps, her deckles, her tubs of finished papers — some textured, some translucent, some delicately veined like the inside of a wrist.
One of the pleasures of being an adult is recalling the pleasures of childhood. You might think that’s one of the bummers of being an adult — but remembering can be full of its own pleasure.
I try, often without success, to hold in mind two perspectives, the cosmic and the personal. From a cosmic stance, my little griefs and triumphs don’t exist. Don’t exist! I am, you are, dust.
The jays wake up mouthy. The crows flap shouting out of sleep. Everyone has a voice. Especially the silent ones.
To be inside a fish’s October dream — there are worse fates!