Ordinary Pick-Up

In the high school parking lot, we stand waiting for the kids to return from a soccer game, the air wet and unexpectedly warm. I remember the sunny crispness of that 9/11 morning when my two-year-old tricycled around the kitchen. There’s none of that, in this day alternately soggy or overly warm.

The bus comes, the kids get off, the bus goes, and still we stand there, talking and laughing, with our girls holding their bags now. The coach drives home.

One girl looks around. “It’s just us,” I say. Overhead, the clouds lift and moonlight shines down. We pause, and the mist ambles in.

Want “meaningless” Zen?
Just look — at anything!

— Old Shōju

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Trout Fishing Reminescences

I’m listening to a recent This American Life podcast, when a section of Brautigan’s The Abortion is read aloud, I lay down the scissors I’m holding. I’m sixteen again, hidden in the public library stacks, unable to believe what I’m reading. What is this? Who is Brautigan?

An instant fan of Brautigan and simultaneously unable to exactly figure out why, when I listen to his words read aloud, I suddenly see his writing is all reverence, all poetry, all a hymn to living — in the most utterly mundane way — an acknowledgement of love and love gone awry, of abortion and bliss — funny and sorrowful and joyous.

Sometimes life is merely a matter of coffee and whatever intimacy a cup of coffee affords.

Richard Brautigan

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