Gathering Laughter

This year has felt like a year of rain.  With a hard year of uncertainty, we both were bone weary,  and even packing up the car seemed a chore. Where in the world would we find the soul energy to interact with new people?

Hutchmoot - Tent

 (image @Mark Geil)

September Sky

 (From the Archives)



Out of breath, out of time.

I lunch and wait for the next appointment.

Long days line up like dominoes ready to topple.

Unexpected fellows – these tall trees and ruins that hum a tune from A Secret Garden.



Soul Adaptation



(Guest post by Ashly Stage of Food: A Liberal Education)

The first time I visited my friends Eric and Rebecca, I could see that they lived in what appeared to be a typical suburban home. But upon walking through the door I was greeted with the smells of another country. The slightest hint of cinnamon was in the air. Vibrant blankets on the couch, richly-colored accent chairs, art and artifacts from around the world greeted me.

As Eric, Rebecca, and I settled in with coffee and homemade chocolates, we took turns asking the usual questions: “How are you?”  “What’s new?”  “How’s your love life?” Being single, I was sensitive to the last question.

Breaking up with TV for Beethoven



As I child I was not a fan of classical music. NOT a fan. I would scour the library or bookstores for popular piano music to avoid playing it in lessons. My teacher did let me play (and improvise) the popular songs while my classical scores limped along until contest.

When college auditions came, I panicked. All memorized classical music?! I was forced to “get serious” about practicing and nothing was more easily accessible than Beethoven.

Beethoven’s music sounded good AND fit well under my fingers. The more I played it, the more my musical language grew to appreciate early Bach and Haydn all the way to the late great weirdness of Bartok. But Beethoven was the road in. Hours of practice culminated in a long senior recital. It was one of my personal “conquering Mount Everest” moments.

Feasting on Distances



My new normal is sitting in a waiting room at the lab draw facility surrounded by the very young and the aging. I am drawn to the older patients. They are the ones who look up from their devices and want to chat. They talk about their grandkids, “The Bachelorette”, clipping coupons, and gardens cucumbers. They seem unfazed by diagnoses and blood tests.