Then I Returned to the House of the Slow Letting Go by Irene Wellman

dried flower

Then I Returned to the House of the Slow Letting Go   I went out into the evening, walked alone with my clippers to dead-head the marigolds the peonies, no longer spinning planets, and the now brown-leafed rhododendrons. I picked up my watering can to slake a thirsty fern, pulled yellow aromatic leaves off the pink geraniums, surprised a brown thrasher in the grass, bent to weed a circle of flowers. The house stood filled with the presence Of the dying man. It was his garden he’d brought back from wildness, tended with the dry … Continue reading Then I Returned to the House of the Slow Letting Go by Irene Wellman

Singing at Auschwitz by Diane Baumer


For close to thirty minutes that first evening, we danced recklessly and with joy, clasping hands, twirling, and twisting to the beat of the “Havah,” reveling in our freedom and singing with abandon. Our dance line snaked up the auditorium floor and into the Museum’s lobby then circled ‘round the brightly colored kiosks. Forming three smaller circles, we laughed and sang and bumped without grace into one another until finally, as the music died down, we collapsed onto the benches against the wall, out of breath and exhausted. After a few minutes, one of the … Continue reading Singing at Auschwitz by Diane Baumer

Catalogers of the Galaxy by M.X. Wang


Later, when asked to speak about what happened for the second time, Harlen recalled that it was in fact a single object, faint and blurry one second, close and vibrant the next. It hovered overhead: two blazing parallel rods, about a hundred feet across, connected by a transparent, egg-shaped disk that expanded and collapsed like an inflating and deflating balloon. There was a lot of pressure, as if giant hands were pushing down on his shoulders and scalp. “As soon as my knees gave, the pressure left and what I saw changed. I mean, I … Continue reading Catalogers of the Galaxy by M.X. Wang

The Highest Form of Flattery


I’m creatively constipated. That’s right, all input and no output. Binging on poetry, nothing to show at writing group. Forget the fifth round of revisions on that damn poem that won’t cooperate. Not inspired. Not even trying. Reading a favorite poem the other day, I detected a familiar aftertaste, a refrain in my head: I never come up with ideas this unique, this good. Intellectually, I know better than to let that thought discourage me from writing, but let’s be honest—it still does. So, I compromised with myself. If I couldn’t write something this good, I could at least copy … Continue reading The Highest Form of Flattery

Just Try It.


Don’t bother with a resolution for this New Year.   There’s abundant evidence that Resolution Road goes straight downhill sometime after January, littered with gym membership cards, strewn with diet cookbooks and half-finished knitting projects (not that I would know).  All those goals we fail to complete just end up making us feel worse than before. So, don’t set any goals.  Instead, why not let the start of a new year mean that you will try something new – just one new thing  that appeals to you– and see where it leads you? Dead end, whole … Continue reading Just Try It.

Sam Abell: Cuba Up Close


Photographer Sam Abell is a seeker, camera in hand. A National Geographic staff photographer for 33 years, Abell has traveled from Japan to Newfoundland, from Australia to Russia discovering and shooting life’s “staying” moments. He continues to explore and photograph destinations of his own choosing. Most recently, he joined a dozen photographers on an invitation trip to Cuba honoring the 81st anniversary of Walker Evans’ photographing in Havana. Here too, Abell found dramatic scenarios, vibrant colors and easy camraderie. “I would say the number one ethos, sensation or emotion that you feel on the streets … Continue reading Sam Abell: Cuba Up Close

At the Crossroads in Clarksdale


I don’t know why I believe that I’ll find the truth about America in Mississippi. It’s a dreamscape, really. So overlaid with lies, oppressions, and Faulknerian legend that to expect anything authentic about the place is foolhardy. But I persist nonetheless because I’m a sucker for myth and Southern lit.   Last summer it was Clarksdale that called. I was passing through on my annual summer journey from Virginia to teach in Dallas. So we stopped for a couple of nights at the Shack Up Inn. Don’t judge us. O, go ahead. I certainly did. … Continue reading At the Crossroads in Clarksdale

Got Your Shopping Done Yet?

colorful knitted caps

The other day I was remarking to somebody that I’d been doing my Christmas shopping and found the stores seemed not to be playing so much Christmas music lately. I’d been to the mall and I hadn’t really noticed any irritating repetitions of that little drummer boy, or any of the usual favorites. She gently reminded me of my deafness. Oh, true. One of the extremely few advantages of being deaf is that, even with hearing aids, ambient music pretty much disappears. Lately, I don’t hear store music — or show tunes in restaurants, for … Continue reading Got Your Shopping Done Yet?

Inside Voice by Deborah McLeod


  Chroma Projects enjoyed four exciting years of being able to introduce and exhibit art in our glorious space on the (Charlottesville) Downtown Mall. But all things being eventually subject to change, we had to accept that we needed to find a new way to continue. To keep Chroma alive and functioning under more manageable terms, we transitioned the gallery to our home.     Exhibiting art in a residence is not a new idea by any means, art has been formally presented in manor homes since the Italians initiated the tradition in the 16th … Continue reading Inside Voice by Deborah McLeod

Publish Thyself?


A good friend and fellow writer recently introduced me to Medium. NOT the dead-people-seeing-housewife tv show. Medium is a digital publishing platform/story-telling community for writers to engage through feedback, recommendations, and followings. There’s not much fluff—it’s cleanly designed and very simple, with a big variety of writing top. Recently, Medium posed a writing prompt/contest that seemed too ripe to pass up: “I had to have it.” I ran with it, created an account and uploaded my response. Since winning the contest had to do with ‘recommends,’ I don’t think my six followers who somehow appeared when I joined won me any trophies. But having a … Continue reading Publish Thyself?

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