Good time for a lull

I don’t know quite how it works, but I’ve caught a cold in an unlikely time.

There’s not much that requires news gathering this weekend.

That’s weird, to have the two circumstances coincide.

So, here I sit, occasionally hacking, drinking lots of water (as well as coffee), leisurely working on a feature about a home-town boy starting a moving company.

I can give some attention to our dog, wonder at the lack of tracks in our back yard after the recent snowfall, go barefoot, since we’ve burned through the last of the seasoned stove wood (I have yet to estimate that correctly each season), listen to public radio and work my way through the Martin Luther King, Jr., sermon, “The Drum Major Instinct,” apparently from which the Super Bowl Ram truck drew its inspiration.

It’s nice, having a breather.

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Anyone for the key of “E”?

I have a musically gifted friend who lives (at the moment) in an apartment nearing a loading dock. Trucks back continually into the area during portions of the day.

The high “E” tone the trucks emit is a major distraction. It won’t be after he and his wife finish remodeling the home they bought in their city, but, meanwhile, that “beep” gets on his nerves.

He says he can tune his guitar with that back-up tone going off. It’s that predictable.

He asked, via Facebook, for favorite songs in the key of “E” he could play to play over the tones.

He got plenty of suggestions. Mine was “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder.

He posted a great piece that I have to reference here. “Sky Church Hymn” by David Sancious and Tone made for a great listen for a Saturday morning.

Next time I’m bothered by back-up tones, I’ll know what to cue and find the volume control.

Environmentalism

The Little, Brown hard-covered collection of iconic images by Ansel Adams is worth every minute I gaze on it.

Every once in a while, there are nuggets of prose, too, that are worth re-reading. Here’s one, reprinted from his foreword the 1979 publication of “Ansel Adams: Yosemite and the Range of Light.” (There are a number of essays worth their salt at then end of the collection of stunning photos.)

Adams writes of his time with the Sierra Club, his involvement with the conservation movement (He valued still more getting away on his own in his beloved wilderness with his pack animal.) and his time as custodian of the Le Conte Memorial in Yosemite Valley.

“I passed through the messianic period, battling the implacable devourers and mutilators of wilderness, and gradually I entered a more philosophic, humanistic stage where I was able, in some small way, to separate personal euphoria from impersonal appraisals of the rights of man to participate in the bounties of his environment. The fact that he has fouled his nest and seems certain to continue with his destruction seems now more of an illness than an expression of evil intent. The problem is not whether we must save the natural scene, but how we may accomplish it.”

I wonder what Adams would photograph and write now, if he were alive. I wonder if he would be able to maintain a philosophic stance. I doubt it.

Here’s a try

Somersault

 

Tuck and roll.

Chin tight against chest.

Crouch.

Lean.

A light kick.

Over you go.

 

Sometimes coming back,

Arms high,

Sometimes not,

Palms up

Back flat.

Worlds spin

Atoms curl

Around a gravid,

moving

spot.

 

Search.

And repeat.

Writing that sparkles

Columbia Journalism Review, in one of its weekly e-mail updates, included a link to a collection of stellar writing, titled “The Lives They Lived.”

The link showcases stellar writing for the special web feature by The New York Times Magazine. Pick any of the pieces. You’ll be rewarded.

Particularly gripping for me are the stories of Cheo, a Puerto Rican at heart, and the short story on Maggie Roche.

While I would much prefer to hold a printed volume in hand, I have no bookstore handy and I’m far too impatient to order on line. Thanks to the web, I have a fix.