Staying Put

Catching My Drift

SOJ

There was in the eyes a look of anticipation and joy, a far-off look that sought the horizon; one often sees it in seafaring families, inherited by boys and girls alike from men who spend their lives at sea, and are always watching for distant sails or the first loom of the land.–Sarah Orne Jewett, The Country of The Pointed Firs

The big brick house has been for sale for over a year, stately, patient in its parklike setting.  It has a broad and welcoming doorway with sidelights and a transom; there is a big second story dormer right above that hints at a spacious landing where one could sit with a book in a chaise, cozily afghaned, while the snow flutters down…

I look the listing up on-line; I see a grand staircase with a gleaming bannister, and I see really bad, bad wallpaper throughout.

It would be this…

View original post 1,814 more words

Advertisements

Notes from the Unexpected: Zürich’s One and Only Lake Speaks Up

The Woolf

by D.B. Miller

On certain days, it’s uncanny: the turquoise shallows, cobalt drop and unrelenting shimmer for as far as the neck can crane. The Mediterranean, you could swear it—with a squint and some imagination, maybe even a cove around St. Tropez. Toss in a few gulls and those Boesch motorboats that cost as much as a watch, and you’re living the dream.

Zurisee14

Except the dream is right here, in a landlocked country, fertilizing the shores and giving the lucky people who live on them something to look at. On this, the locals and transient folk agree: Zürisee is the city’s crowning asset. Once an international trade route, today a playground, but still: 88 square kilometers of alpine aqua pura are reason enough to be proud, if not a bit punchy.

Because some have the nerve to call it small—but tell that to the gent who couldn’t quite get to…

View original post 257 more words

One Year Later: An Excerpt from “The Circles of Kailash”

The Jasmine Dialogues

A year ago this week, I joined an international expedition of twenty to travel to Western Tibet for over three weeks and participate in a 31-mile circumambulation around Mt. Kailash, one of the most sacred mountains in the world. The powerful journey was part of a larger creative project I’m working on now, so to honor this one-year “revolution,” I’d like to share a short excerpt along with some additional photos. The scene is set at Lhasa’s Jokhang Temple on my last night. 

kailash2

///

An oversized prayer wheel stands alone and it does not spin.Mani khorlo, they are called in Tibetan. Mani—jewel. Khorlo—circle or cycle. A wheel of jeweled prayer. They are used in Tibet and around the world as ritual, like kora, to gain merit, symbolic of an ever-revolving cosmos. Often lining monasteries and temples, each wheel is usually covered in sheet metal and…

View original post 622 more words

Numbers

zander foster poetry

We’re losing numbers.
Seven went out to look for Nine and hasn’t been back.
Twenty-Six pushed Twenty-Five into a lake, so he’s dead.
And all that’s left of the 170’s is the three.
I don’t understand why this keeps happening.
When I was young, there were few enough to keep track of.
But now they’re dropping like flies and I can only save the ones on the radio.
I guess no one cares because they never got to know the numbers like I did.
Like how Three is always unsure, and Zero likes public speaking.
I’m sure they all think One is the best because she is the first after Nothing –but she isn’t.
Five was always my favourite because he looked out for Three and wore a big blue coat.
I wish the people would see the love Nine has for Eight.
Maybe then they would understand why Nine…

View original post 57 more words

Y-Dang Troeung, Hong Kong

compassionatecanada

“Never a Last Refugee”

My parents named me after camp Khao I-Dang, the refugee camp where I was born. They did so to remember their survival, and those international aid workers who cared for them after an improbable escape from the labor camps in Cambodia, across the landmine-riddled jungle, to the border of Thailand. As difficult and confusion-inducing as my name is, I wonder now how my life would have turned out, had they had named me “Goderich” after the small Canadian town where a kind group of sponsors first pooled their resources to bring us to Canada. Or if they had named me “Trudeau,” after the man who held me as an infant when my family first arrived in Canada, the man who is the centerpiece of my family’s postcard-perfect photograph commemorating our arrival.

I think of this picture often. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau welcoming my family to Canada…

View original post 655 more words

Everything I Need to Know About Swearing I Learned in High School

Reviews & Revisions

Swearing JF

Writers and readers assume that words have meaning and value. The prevalence and nonchalant attitude surrounding profanity in western culture might have us believe that using hardy vocabulary is appropriate willy-nilly – after all, that’s how we live. But perhaps that is the best reason to pay the most attention to when and where and why we drop these words: the more they are used casually, the less impact they bring to the page. We are depriving these infamous words of their full assault value when we use them like grandparents giving chocolate candy to toddlers (and the results in both cases are disastrous).

Everything I need to know about swearing I learned in high school. This boils down to two principles. One, for the best effect, swear sparingly. Two, swear when the situation requires it for authenticity.

When I played volleyball in high school, I played with a team that was expected to…

View original post 833 more words