Poetry, Philosophy, Piles of Snow

Snow falls all night.

In the darkness, I lie awake thinking about a line from Karl Marx; “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances.” The line figures predominantly in the book I’m writing — the initial draft nearly finished. More than that, the line is one of the main questions of my life.

In our dark house, the cat and I stand at the back glass door, watching the snow drift down in the cone of the porch light. Upstairs, one daughter reads, the other sleeps. For a little while, the cat and I read on the couch. Just before I turn off the light and head back upstairs, I glance at the pile of index cards penned neatly in my younger daughter’s hand. For school, she has to choose a poem, memorize it, and recite it aloud. I lift the top card and read, Two roads diverged in a yellow wood….

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Holiday Chat

Perhaps in no little part due to my hammered-up lower jaw, I let the holidays simply unroll (albeit with some effort before).

Here’s a scruffy shot of my brother cooking Christmas dinner, while I shiver, and we talk about Marx’s assertion that people make their own history but not in self-selected circumstances, family camping trips and the collapse of the American Empire.

Afterwards, he hung up his beer cans on the line with clothespins. That’s some quality family time.

Winter solitude —
in a world of one color
the sound of wind.

— Basho

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