I miss my blog. I've been perusing posts from early 2006 and regretting I no longer am writing little things like that -- little postcards to myself about what's on my mind. Perhaps I'm not valuing the thoughts swimming around in my head as much these days. Isn't that what an MFA program is supposed to do?
Those old posts are just shadows. Snapshots of shadows even. What I'll use them for, what I'm putting together is perhaps better presented as a mosaic and not a narrative. Why I did one thing and then the next is never as clear as a straight line.
This might be the end of my longest blogging hiatus since beginning Miller's Crossing in 2005. I find I have a lot of ambivalence about having an online presence. I'm still resisting Facebook. I think I'll have to write about this here--exorcise my resistance to posting online by posting my thoughts online. ... We'll see.
In the meantime, I've been getting out and enjoying the summer. Here are a few photos posted over on Flickr.
It's been raining for days. Honest, soggy, Portland rain. But today, the sun came out. And Mt. Tabor Park was brimming with activity. I've been working on a story on the park and learning the history of my neighborhood. It's fascinating stuff. Mt. Tabor's Reservoir 1 was built in 1894 to hold the city's drinking water from the Bull Run watershed and is still in operation today. As part of an MLK service day, students from Portland colleges were picking up trash around the park and the reservoirs. Check out the pictures from today's adventures on Mt. Tabor.
I just got this clock. It was my great aunt's.
I loved all the many people parading Cannon Beach over Thanksgiving weekend. I know it's ridiculous to ask, but what if all our public commons were as beautiful and healthy?
Added more photos from the coast to Flickr.
I can see the ocean from our room's window. The semester's end rolls towards me like big surf, but Thanksgiving provided an excuse to spend a couple of days on the coast.
Today, I'm working on a revision of a long essay for class and the words come like an ebb tide. They recede. The new interfere with the old. Confusing cross currents erode the word count. High turbidity surrounds craggy rocks. Still, I'm grateful to be out here. And I trust the tide will turn and the words will flow, carrying in interesting pieces of driftwood, shell fragments, and withering jellyfish.
In the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, 500,000 to one million Tutsis and pro-peace Hutus were killed. Hutus associated with the Hutu Power movement carried out the genocide that lasted 100 days. I remember hearing radio reports of the violence and killing, the scope of which overwhelmed my understanding. Over several weeks, news items entered my ears as no more than abstractions of terror—no faces, no names, no specific to nail the corpses to my emotional reality. I never once thought of the children lost in the maelstrom of mass societal chaos and brutality.
Jesuit priest and author Uwem Akpan’s Say You’re One of Them does not forget the children. The collection of three short stories and two novellas considers in fine detail the improvised and often desperate lives of Africa’s young people.
The weather was great last weekend on the coast. The ocean's gentle breezes swept through the muck of my brain, body and spirit. The sand polished my feet and smile. The give and take of tides lulled me out of the high-stress overdrive that characterized my second week of full-time school. I took a deep breath and looked out as far as my eyes could carry me towards the horizon.