Thank God … Later

There’s a story. About a, well was it a writer? a painter? Whatever, he couldn’t work. At all, just no ideas at all. He’d sit down and … nothing. Finally after his long dry spell he had an idea. Not just any idea. It was a fantastic idea. He could see how it works out all the way. The idea was so fantastic he was overwhelmed. He sunk to his knees to thank God for the inspiration. He said his thanful paryers. He got up to got to work on the idea. And realized he’d forgotton it.

God will wait. Get your idea written down so you won’t forget. God will wait.

I’m not saying I had a fantastic idea. But I did have ideas. Hopefully I’ll have them again.

Herrera Land

One day reading through Facebook I found an intriguing link from Grace Emmual. It was of a Latin American canon of literature. It was organized with “if you like _____ try _____” As in,

If you have to read: Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Try: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

Remezla’s Website


If you have to read: Beowulf
Try: Popol Vuh

Remezla’s Website

Or, the one that got me,

If you have to read: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Try: Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera

Remezla’s Website

There are more, many more, check them out at Remezla’s Website. I will certainly be back for more to read.

Their book Signs Preceding the End of the World begins with a woman walkig down the street.

I’m dead, Makina said to herself when everything lurched: a man with a cane was crossing the street, a dull groan suddenly surged through the asphalt, the man stood still as if waiting for someone to repeat the question and then the earth opened up beneath his feet: it swallowed the man, and with him a car and a dog, all the oxygen around and even the screams of passers-by.

Opening sentence of Signs Preceding the End of the World

Could you stop reading there? I couldn’t. So I continued.

Three cheers for Lisa Dillman! She is the translator of the work and several others. Translators have a difficult craft to practice. Ms. Dillman does so well.

It seems Patti Smith is also a fan of this book and other by Yuri Herrera. She is in “Herrera Land” (where I stole the headline) where you can find Kingdom Cons. Which is, fortunatly, avaailble at my local library.

I’m off to finish this book and hope the hold list for Kingdom Cons is not too long a wait.

On Patti Smith

If you read, then you must read this article. If you don’t read, or read much, you should skim this article to catch a nugget or two about why reading is great to do.

Feel free to skip the What books are on your nightstand? and What’s the last great book you read? Both questions are fluff. Go on to What’s your favorite book no one else has heard of?, What book should everybody read before the age of 21?, or Has a book ever brought you closer to another person, or come between you? These are not ordinary questions with illuminating answers.

Where Did I Go?

I looked back at the day and asked, where did I go?
And I remembered, the YouTube videos when one lead to another and another and there were hours.
And I remembered. the mention of a presidential candidate from two people from very different parts of my life. And I started to really look at his policies.
There was a day, watching and reading and not taking notes but I do learn a bit. A bit.

I tend to get interested in something and stay there until I kinda sorta understand it. That’s where I went. But it’s not someplace where I go on a plan. Something grabs my attention and until that curiosity itch is scratched I’m there, looking, reading, lost in the “what about …” questions and answers.

That’s where I go.

What Is Elderly?

On a morning walk my wife Jennifer said “I read something irritating. They said they were elderly.” I asked “How old were they?” She replied,”Late 60s, 67 and 69.” To which I started to laugh. We’re 62. We are elderly.

Or are we? We are old. But elderly? That has a connotation of being fragile with diminished capacity. We feel pretty vital.

What do you think is meant by elderly?

A Year Ago

It was a tough time. My father in law was in a rehab center. Jennifer had both of us in bad states. On this day I started to write. How else could I relearn how to write? And so I did. In three weeks I filled up 100 pages of progressively better handwriting. One thing I did not do was watch TV. OK, I did watch one PBS documentary and one movie. But I couldn’t take it. I wrote instead. And spent time with Mom, and Cheryl mostly. Other relatives also came by. But mostly I wrote. And thought about what was ahead.

You have to start someplace.

First writing after my stroke.

A Seventh Book You Can and Should Write

I wrote about the Six Books YOU can and Should Write, click through to read about them. Recently I came across a seventh type, the commonplace book.

What is that? Wikipedia explains, “Such books are essentially scrapbooks filled with items of every kind: recipes, quotes, letters, poems, tables of weights and measures, proverbs, prayers, legal formulas.” They were also complied by women, before women were allowed into colleges. That’s one example of what the literary form is.

You might consider this blog a Commonplace gathering of what I find to be interesting. There is so much more to collect.

You should be aware of Ryan Holiday’s introduction to commonplace books, here. I will quote him, from the start, because it’s a compelling thing to read and hang onto, as he did in his commonplace book.

It was about the great Athenian general Themistocles. Before the battle of Salamis, he was locked in a vigorous debate with a Spartan general about potential strategies for defeating the Persians. Themistocles was clearly in the minority with his views (but which ultimately turned out to be right and saved Western Civilization). He continued to interrupt and contradict the other generals. Finally, the Spartan general threatened to strike Themistocles if he didn’t shut up and stop. “Strike!” Themistocles shouted back, “But listen!”

Ryan Holidy, in Though Catalog

Strike! But listen! In the meantime, I’m going to figure out the difference between a commonplace book and a scrap book.

Corn and Peaches

Last night I ate corn on the cob. That was dinner. Fresh out of boiling water, sweet as it could be. Fresh corn, it’s only a couple of weeks in the summer. We got ours from a farm stand place off of Highway 99E. You’d never see it from the freeway. Only from the back roads can provide you this kind of treat.

And tonight! A fresh peach! Gigantic, fresh, so delicious. So real, it doesn’t taste like anything concocted up from a laboratory. Like the corn, you can only get this sweet treat fresh. These last days of summer are real treats.

Pheaches, sweet peaches

Nudging the Direction

A few days ago I wrote On Caring, about paying attention to the US elections, so far in advance of our selection. Why is our selection process so long? Part of it goes back to Kennedy who was considered “too Catholic” when he announced his candidacy. Now we have fringe candidates pushing their (our?) pet peeves. One example is Governor Jay Inslee’s pushing about climate change. His candidacy did not continue, but his ideas do.

I’m now caring and have supported Andrew Yang. He shares with former Vice President Joe Biden the ability to attract Trump supporters. That’s a winner of a candidate’s position. Yang also has a simple, like Trump, slogan, MATH – Make American’s Think Harder.

Will he win? I don’t care. I do care that his positions deserve more attention. He more attention he gets the more his positions will get. He puts Humanity First. Where it belongs.

Here’s a light headed review of Yang’s positions.