artwork by Joseph Lorusso


How I wish I had done
everything I wanted, emptied
my pockets, bright coins
saved only for this, my dreams
crumbs across the table
between us, instead
I asked about your soup, was it
too hot, watched your lips
sweep wet and soft 
across the spoon, noted
your napkin's polite 
apology, the drop you missed 
how I wanted just then
to be everywhere with you


Thanks to Tess at The Mag for the delicious prompt! 



"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

-- Aristotle

And it is this thought that persistently troubles me about what I believe to be the most divisive political issue of my adult life (so far)...the current controversy surrounding gun control.  People are ridiculous.  Mostly the people on THAT side, of course, right?  But...

Bear in mind that I grew up in a place where we took a school holiday for deer hunting...and I remember being puzzled by that even in kindergarten.  But it must have made sense to enough of the people in charge. 

My own husband is a gun enthusiast, who was raised to be so -- that love was carefully cultivated by a handful of influential men in his life who took him under their collective wing at an early age and provided meaningful opportunities for forming important bonds with them, and also with nature -- the natural consequence being that there is also, wrapped up in all the warm fuzziness of those bonds, a bond with guns. 

But temper that picture with the fact that his young niece was killed tragically in a mass-shooting at a mall a few years back (anniversary next week) while innocently picking out Valentine cards.  By a troubled young man who went nuts and found it all too easy to get his hands on just the weapon he needed to cause a lifetime of grief for many in a short amount of time. 

Now you have the makings of thorny family disputes!  Of polite dinner table conversation gone awry!  But as a result of being in a unique position to truly see both sides, my husband can speak respectfully and intelligently to each. And while I hate his guns, I so admire his ability to straddle an increasingly uncomfortable (and highly personal) fence with much grace. I value his opinions, even the ones I don't like, because I know they are the complex result of an ongoing, carefully considered internal debate that fully engages both his intellect and his heart.  

I, on the other hand, am more blindly emotional, as well as the product of a father who believes they should take away ALL the guns as a matter of course. My fundamental inability to understand both deer hunting and its holiday may well be genetic. So sometimes, when it comes to this topic, I have a hard time remaining "educated" enough to entertain the thoughts of the other side in any kind of meaningful way.  

I'm working on it.  I wish some of them would work on it as well.  

We are not helpless.  There are things that can be done.  And, as educated people, we have the responsibility to try anything that might have the slightest possibility of affecting change.  Neither side will get everything it wants, but doing nothing is not compromise.  Nor is it an option.  Because while we're busy doing nothing, a few people will be busy doing just what they have been.  
And we should all be able to agree on at least a starting truth -- that we can not continue on our current trajectory. 


it isn’t always just the way
you see it, you can’t trust your eyes
to show the whole

to tell you everything there is
to know, and even less

should you put all your trust
in your own head to fill in every blank
with the right answer -- now

let’s sit together, you tell me
what you see, I’ll tell you the same

and maybe then we’ll get
a glimpse, our minds, our thoughtful 
fingers might reveal a partial

print, a picture, closer to what's real 
than one alone could see 

-- smh



Central Library, Manchester UK, by Robin Gosnall


Here’s the real reason
blocks have letters on them

building something without words
can't work, words frame

important things, our thoughts
and feelings, most of all

ideas, until you get it into words
whether you speak them, write them, show

them what you mean so they can see
the words your act is resting on

there isn't any way to make
the thing inside your head outside 

and heads were never meant
to just hold blueprints

-- smh

Check out The Mag for more!



"...'and what is the use of a book' thought Alice,
'without pictures or conversations?'"

Exactly.  What is the use of such a book?
If you can't both see it and hear it, then there was definitely something lost in the telling of the story. 

(Whether it has pictures...or not.)