Pebble on the Tongue:  Can Filigree Strings Yet Carry Us Aloft?

While meandering home from the Canadian Maritimes some time ago, we stopped at the suggestion of family by the College of New Jersey in Trenton to view an art exhibit about the beauty and travail of Afghanistan.  There we stumbled on the video of an extraordinary scene composed by Lida Abdul, who, exile that she … More Pebble on the Tongue:  Can Filigree Strings Yet Carry Us Aloft?

Pebble on the Tongue: “If You’re Lucky …”

To say that travels will move you, is a tautology, self-evident on the face.  But Kate Daniels,  lyricist of the gritty, personal truths of the American South has penned a line that captures the traveler’s rarest take-away, the most powerful gift of a ‘traipse’: If you’re lucky ….It will bring you to your knees. Kate … More Pebble on the Tongue: “If You’re Lucky …”

Pyrotechnics: There Are Fireworks, and Then There Are Fireworks

Say ‘fireworks’ to most any soul on the planet – child or adult – and there will follow a fountain, a vivid geyser, of story.  The pyrotechnics celebrated in lore and poetry are rooted after all in spiritual struggle: their boom and flash created to drive away shades of misery and misfortune.  But they end … More Pyrotechnics: There Are Fireworks, and Then There Are Fireworks

Pebble on the Tongue: From the Basement of Suffering

Given the loss and suffering that marks these days, here is the sense of a moment recounted by Sadako Kurihara, poet of Hiroshima: In Hiroshima, in a basement, mid stench and death, a young woman goes into labor. A woman, herself moaning with pain, steps forward. “I can help with the baby. I am a … More Pebble on the Tongue: From the Basement of Suffering

Omnibus: It Doesn’t Quite Mean ‘All’

Somewhere between the jet set and the purist pilgrims who shamble along the Camino de Santiago are those who ride the ‘bus’, a shortened form of the more picturesque 19th cent. French term, ‘omnibus’.  It’s that ‘omni’ part that gives pause – omni being Latin for ‘all’.  Which explains a great deal about bus travel … More Omnibus: It Doesn’t Quite Mean ‘All’

The Long and Winding Road: Mythic Highway, Honeymoon Beach

Paul McCartney, so the story says, retreated alone to a farm in Scotland once where he sat at the piano gazing on the trace of a road meandering wild heather, the moors and lochs beyond – in short, his life – and penned a ballad: ‘The Long and Winding Road’. Were there a list of … More The Long and Winding Road: Mythic Highway, Honeymoon Beach

The Die Is Cast: No Friends But the Afghan Mountains

Come September 11, 2021, by presidential decree, the last troops of a Western alliance will strike their regimental colors, stow their gear and board massive transports for rear bases in Europe, the Middle East, and North America.  They leave behind razor-wire perimeters, bunkers, the tangled wreckage of warfare, frightened collaborators, and trauma as far as … More The Die Is Cast: No Friends But the Afghan Mountains

Lion’s Den Discovery: Pushback on a Eurocentric World View

On the southern fringes of the Kalahari across the interior of southern Africa stretch ranches and dryland farming in all directions.  Here and there outcrops and hills break the monotony of the plain often overlooking seasonal streams and rivers.  Near such a ridge, in 1924 the unlikely settlement of Taung (‘lion’s den’) was the epicenter … More Lion’s Den Discovery: Pushback on a Eurocentric World View