Tag Archives: fiction

Conversations with Athena

 

In the conversation that followed, we recalled the June day, over ten  years ago, when we had first sat next to each other in a public speaking class.  She teasingly reminded me how shy I had been.

I pictured her back then, sharing scenes from her social life: her stories a playful medley, drawing me in, subverting my best defenses.   High school I had spent seeking refuge in a social cubbyhole. Finding myself seated next to this blonde, lissome girl proved a culture shock. I might as well have shared a desk with the goddess Athena; our early conversations had been that one-sided. Linda had been patient with her shy neighbor, and gradually our conversations became a partnership. Through getting to know her, I had stepped into the sunlight. Seeing her again, I wanted to share this, but it came out this way: “I still think of our conversations before class. You were quite the raconteur.”

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Photo Challenge, Transmogrify: Autumn’s Magical Transformation

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.
—Anne of Green Gables

Nothing quite like a Michigan autumn to transform a lakeside scene in a magical manner.

Photo Challenge:  Transmogrify

 

Newburgh Lake, Michigan

Newburgh Lake, Michigan

Newburgh Lake, Michigan

Newburgh Lake, Michigan

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lake like a mirror

Remote Places on the Map

In the novel, Heart of Darkness, the narrator, Marlowe, tells his comrades that as a boy he spent many afternoon hours looking at maps and imagining himself exploring the unknown spaces.  As luck would have it, I had the same boyhood pastime.  This weekend, I visited for the first time one of those out-of-the-way wilderness spots, the Seney National Wildlife Refuge in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  The only sounds to be heard were the wind and the trumpeting of swans.

Seney National Wildlife Refuge, Michigan

Seney National Wildlife Refuge, Michigan

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seney 9 4 15 005

Not a Piano Key to be Played, but a Human

For the whole work of man really seems to consist in nothing but proving to himself every minute that he is a man and not a piano-key to be played!  And this being so, can one help being tempted to rejoice that it has not yet come off, and that desire still depends on something we don’t know?

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground

An 1864 Russian novel I read and discussed in a book club in nearby Ann Arbor yesterday.  The Underground Man asserts a person’s right to be human, with all the “unreasonable” emotions that involves, in the face of reformers’ efforts to conform human behavior to their idea of rationality and “the good.”  Also, a revolution in the novel, with the first anti-hero and the emergence of the unreliable narrator.  Really quite an amazing achievement in the art of writing.  I’m still marveling and will be re-reading after picking up many great insights from the book club members’ discussion.

Warren Dunes state park

Warren Dunes, Michigan

We Live in the Flicker

“Yes; but it is like a running blaze on a plain, like a flash of lightning in the clouds.
We live in the flicker–“

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Memories of treasured, but distant experiences led me to this quote.  Funny how a melody, or a passage of writing, can ignite  feelings from the past when it seemed they were merely dull embers.   I love Conrad’s  writing–and English was not his first language.  So envious!

Tacquahmenon Park, Michigan

Tacquahmenon Park, Michigan