Myths Are Good Medicine by Kelly McGannon

Path through woods in fall
 

It’s hard being human, especially when the world feels hard. Nowadays, we live in a fishbowl of constant exposure to the unnatural noise of unnatural tweets and digital pings, chimes, and chirps. I miss bird song and the sound of my own inhales and exhales. I miss the wonder of watching a golden eagle soar overhead and stare me down. This is real connection, and I don’t have to push a single button to find it. I just have to put less nourishing things away and step back into the physical, natural world that is … Continue reading Myths Are Good Medicine by Kelly McGannon

All Steamed Up by Gayla Mills

string bass and acoustic guitar
 

I never imagined that one day I’d be straddling a toilet while playing upright bass in a steamy bathroom with a naked man taking a shower on the other side of a sheer plastic curtain. But that’s exactly what I did yesterday. It started a few weeks ago when I noticed a buzz when playing a B flat. You might think this wouldn’t be all that noticeable. It is B flat, after all. But we actually play a lot out of that key. It’s a good one for Gene’s voice. We spent some time messing … Continue reading All Steamed Up by Gayla Mills

With These Hands by Shelley Sarna

white clay hand
 

  I was born in Montreal, Quebec. My parents were highly cultured people; they had a large collection of books on art, music and sculpture. I was a curious child and doubtless my parents’ interests rubbed off on me. My early favorite artist was Marc Chagall. The absence of gravity in his work gave it a dreamlike quality. At Concordia University (then known as Sir George Williams University) I was enrolled in a general BA program, and during my second year I took an art course that comprised sketching, painting, and sculpture. The instructor was … Continue reading With These Hands by Shelley Sarna

Language Acquisition & its Opposite by Ann E. Michael

Alphabet letters on table with children's hands
 

When my children were learning to talk, I developed a fascination with language acquisition. The process of learning to communicate with other human beings in the lingua franca of the culture (speaking US English to adults) was taking place in front of me. I felt awed by the intelligence required to decipher language and delighted by the myriad ways the process and behavior unfolded. For about a year, I seriously considered enrolling in university to pursue a Master’s degree in some sort of language/linguistics-related discipline. But I had two toddlers and lacked the energy, time, … Continue reading Language Acquisition & its Opposite by Ann E. Michael

Appetite For Destruction — Fixing Roofs in Waverly by Alex Joyner

Plastic vulture on roof overlooking street
 

“Simply to look on anything, such as a mountain, with the love that penetrates to its essence, is to widen the domain of being in the vastness of non-being. Man has no other reason for his existence.” —Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain   I walked warily through Waverly—aware that I felt at ease there. It was in the wake of destruction and the town was slumping under the weight. But I am comfortable with narratives of decay and hauntings. The other day a friend pointed out a fir outside my window. “It’s dying,” she said. … Continue reading Appetite For Destruction — Fixing Roofs in Waverly by Alex Joyner

Paris Nocturne by Pamela Davis

photo of apartment in Paris at night
 

Paris Nocturne   The Eiffel Tower rounds its beacon—platinum to black—platinum to black—waltzes the dark across the room. Upstairs, the couple is fighting loud and rough. A bottle shatters against a wall. I can’t make out what provokes them—her voice rises, splinters apart. He barks. A scramble. Brute door. Every night their danse macabre bruises the floor over my head. Day’s end, hand on the rail, I climb five stories of thready rug to my rental, brick-baked baguette dusting my sleeve. A man and woman on the way down say Pardon, Pardon as I squeeze … Continue reading Paris Nocturne by Pamela Davis

Goal! by Spriggan Radfae

wood boardwalk on hill
 

Who am I? Why am I here? What do I want? What do I offer? Last week, when I attended an event about purposeful living, a group of 10 people meditated briefly and answered these same questions. We had agreed to confidentiality in advance, and for an hour, we took turns sharing our answers with each other. Since many in the group were strangers, I worried that fear would obstruct emotional vulnerability or honesty. But several people who were in their twenties and thirties described themselves as “lost” and “directionless”, so it was no surprise … Continue reading Goal! by Spriggan Radfae

Kalulu by Alex Rawitz

Cliffs with water between them
 

He emerged from the bushes clutching a bottle of wine, his face whipped red by the wind. They were huddled together in the clearing. Dry tufts of winter grass poked through the ratty blanket on which they sat. He stood a distance away and searched for Markus, who, noticing him, slowly detached himself from the others and approached. “Thanks for coming out, man.” Markus took the bottle of wine with trembling hands. “Some day for a picnic.” “Why did you come out of the bush just now? There’s a road right there.” “I don’t know. … Continue reading Kalulu by Alex Rawitz

Car Talk by Joan Lassiter

Tan 1973 Buick Riviera
 

I wheel in beside the beige Buick. Ten years ago Mama had claimed its parking space twenty feet below her apartment balcony. From there she watches over her car—a proud reminder that she still has places to go, people to see. “Hi, Honey!” she calls as my feet swivel from beneath the steering wheel and onto the pavement. I squint upward. Her gray curls are barely visible above the brick ledge. “Hurry on up. I need a hug.” Juggling my canvas tote and purse I lean down to peep into the half-lowered window of the … Continue reading Car Talk by Joan Lassiter

Be a Woman Bug by Susan McCulley

cartoon of cat watching ladybugs
 

“Be an ant,” he says. “Don’t look at the whole project at once and try to do it,” says my stone-steady, clear-eyed, logical-thinking husband. “Be an ant. Do what’s in front of you. Do this one thing, take this one step, then do the next one.” I’ve seen the ant approach in action over and over. This man has renovated dozens of old houses by being an ant. He has a vision, then he “ants” them, piece by piece, bit by bit, until they’re finished. Things that once resided only in his imagination become real. … Continue reading Be a Woman Bug by Susan McCulley

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