Golden joy

Lady Fi

It’s almost impossible to photograph a summer sunset

As the sun goes down so very late.

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Even at 9.30 or 10 in the evening,

The sun is blazing golden and serene.

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The evening light is liquid honey —

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And when Simmie shakes after his swim,

He creates golden fireworks of water.

Fireworks.jpgFor more joy, please visit: Our World.

And Skywatch.

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The library of lost conversation

Mathew Lyons

My father died in May, seven years after my mother. We are slowly emptying the house the two of them lived in together since the autumn of 1966, a couple of months after I was born.

The house contains my childhood, of course, and those of my older brother and sisters – but mostly now it embodies my parents’ lives together, the choices they made, together or singly, the things they loved, the things they could afford, the things they could not afford but bought anyway, good furniture followed by worse once children required accounting for, my mother’s resilient DIY eventually supplanted by an old age of greater ease and comfort.

To break it up, this life, seems strangely disloyal. Should their choices and tastes mean so little to us? Do photographs, which we will keep, say more about them than the LPs they collected, the pictures and prints on…

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The Whole Wide World

Flowers for a Lab Mouse

In the midst of my grandmother’s final days, I couldn’t help but think about how different her life had been from mine, how everything she had been through had made things possible for me, my sister, our cousins. I received the news of her passing in Porto, on New Year’s Day. It pained me to be on the other side of the world, away from family in both the US and Hong Kong, away from friends even. Yet at the same time, I thought about how far we had come, as a family, that I was able to be there, a spur of the moment trip to Portugal over my holiday.

My grandmother never left China, never left Hong Kong really. Growing up, even after my family moved to the States, our vacations were rare, and quite modest. A few road trips to Las Vegas, a couple up to San…

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On Success

Apology Not Accepted

In the summer before the final year of my MFA program, I hid in my parents’ basement while Caleb, Reed, and I were visiting, and, in a frenzy, I wrote the first draft of an essay titled “Like Mourners’ Bread.” It was a numbered essay about my sexual history, but it was about so much more than that. Ultimately, it was an essay about forgiveness.

I wrote:
The man I married slept with other women when we were dating.  He didn’t call me for weeks at a time.  He showed up at my apartment drunk after the bar closed, acting as though he wanted to see me, but really just wanting a place to sleep.  He lied to me many times.  About many things. 

I didn’t hurt then, because I didn’t want to know what was happening.  His friends tried to warn me.  My friends tried to warn me.  Strangers…

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The Truth Isn’t Relative, But You Are

ezer

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I’m sure there are people out there who think there is no truth, or that the truth is relative. But I don’t.

I also don’t believe that truth is as simple as the Bible said it, I believe it.

I am extremely wary of dogmatism, yes. I would never be an apologist or evangelist. I am, probably, a universalist at heart.

But I don’t believe the truth is relative. How can a truth be relative? It’s an oxymoron.

But this is my one philosophical dogma: truth isn’t relative, but our perception of the truth is. It’s extremely relative. It’s changes based on what we know or don’t know. It varies depending on where and when we were born, what we experienced, what we didn’t experience, what our parents believed, what they rejected, what our culture accepts, denies, or ridicules.

All of those things shape a person’s perception, and our…

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“I Write Because…”: Six Bloggers on Finding Inspiration for Their Sites

Discover

We often hear from members of the WordPress.com community who tell us how their sites came to be — and what drives them to continue publishing. Here are six bloggers, both veteran and new, explaining their passion in their own words.


Feminine Vestige

What inspires me as a blogger is the ability to reach people on a real and fundamental level that I can’t do in my everyday life. I wrote a poem in response to a Daily Prompt about feminism. It was very personal and I felt powerful and vulnerable while I wrote it. I received a comment on it that validated every single reason why I wanted to start blogging in the first place. A man commented, “I may not be a woman, but having read what you have written, I feel I am, or should be, a feminist.” It was my proudest blogging moment.


Cappuccino Connected

Blogging…

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The Jar of Life: First things First

Balanced Action

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When life overwhelms us, when our mind is a whirlwind of thoughts and we are afraid to go under, it is important to refocus on what is truly important and dear to us. The story of the “Jar of Life” tells us that even if our life feels full, there is always room for an evening with friends or family.

Why stories are important
When life gets tough a simple, well told story or metaphor can help us look at a situation with new eyes. The distilled essence how a character in a story copes with the challenges of life can teach us an important lesson. For a short moment a story helps to quiet our mind, which allows us to take a deep breath and regain some serenity. In this sense a good, powerful story can act as a wise, compassionate guide.

I hope you enjoy the story of…

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Oren’s, West 112th Street

Harping On

I’m sat at Oren’s on 112th and Broadway, drinking an espresso, hunched over my iPad, snuggled in the comfort that Morningside Heights affords me. I really don’t make it up here as often as I ought, even though Columbia University’s environs contain all I require to chill out: one independent bookstore, two coffeehouses, dogs innumerable leading their bedraggled and hungover Upper West Side owners through snow and slush, and the slightly buzzy atmosphere that one gets in an area packed with college kids. A local café will inevitably contain a number of overdressed students discussing queer theory, class politics, university policy, essays on consciousness – all the things that undergraduates live and breathe in their exciting but stiflingly nucleic existence.

img_0023-1An often overlooked artifact of the neighborhood sits on Amsterdam Avenue, just behind the slew of graduate apartments down West 112th Street. Despite its size (roughly that of a large…

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Writing the Pain: Memoirists on Trauma and Memory

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Brevity’s founding editor Dinty W. Moore interviews Melanie Brooks, author of the recently released Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma, featuring Brooks’ conversations with Andre Dubus III, Sue William Silverman, Kyoko Mori, Richard Hoffman, Suzanne Strempek Shea, Abigail Thomas, Mark Doty, Edwidge Danticat, Jessica Handler, Richard Blanco, and others about how they tackle the most painful subjects: zzzBO1,204,203,200_.jpg

MOORE: Many folks, thinking about a project like yours, would assemble an anthology, with various authors all writing essays on the theme. What inspired you to instead hop in your car and interview these writers?

BROOKS: It wasn’t so much inspiration as it was desperation. I didn’t start this project thinking I was writing a book. I started because I was paralyzed by the process of trying to tell my own hard story – so paralyzed that I wasn’t necessarily convinced I’d survive. I used the excuse of…

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