Monthly Archives: May 2013

The summit of Mt. Everest

. “When the climbers in 1953 planted their flags on the highest mountain, they set them in snow over the skeletons of creatures that had lived in the warm clear ocean that India, moving north, blanked out. Possibly as much … Continue reading

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Avignon -The Card Players

. One of the fine things about art is the way that life imitates it. Take these habitués of the small cafe in the Avignon central market. They probably don’t know anything about Cezanne, who painted in nearby Aix, beyond … Continue reading

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Am I the only one who is ambivalent about Charlie Chaplin?

. Am I the only one who is ambivalent about Charlie Chaplin? It is easy to be a fan of his wonderful early films, even easier to sympathize with his Dickensian childhood. Between 1914 and 1917, Chaplin was a phenom, … Continue reading

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This is not a toy! The red phone.

. Remember the Red Phone? It’s 1968 and Nixon calls Brezhnev on the red phone! Well this is a working Soviet phone, circa 1980, from an apartment in Voru, Estonia. It was top of the line, very fancy, back then. … Continue reading

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Why must this tree must die?

. This old tree surfs beside the sidewalk I walk to church, preparing me for grace, forcing me to face my own morality. There is no danger of it falling. It threatens no electric lines. In summer hundreds sit beneath … Continue reading

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Hiroshima, the image

. One iconic image. This city, spread across a river delta with more fingers than seven hands, was a lush rice-growing region. Only a little industry when the U. S. bombed it, to make an example of it. Today they … Continue reading

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Chinese trucks and the Mechanic Muse

. Some of you remember the original VW Beetle. In terms of do-it-yourself service, in terms of an off-the-grid mentality, this car was a work of genius. Two of my housemates once changed a VW engine while it was parked … Continue reading

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Hearing Robert Frost everywhere

. So apparently simple that he seems easy: “two roads diverged,” “I have been one acquainted with the night,” “Good fences make good neighbors” — you begin to hear him everywhere and to ask about “diverged” and the chasm between … Continue reading

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The Power of the Light

. After an arduous day — wallpaper scraping for me, many meetings for my wife — we stopped into a nearby church as we were walking back home from the city. We stopped because there were cute children running in … Continue reading

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Surveillance through a glass, benignly

. I have been working on a website for an undergraduate class on Surveillance, which sent me looking for ominous graphics that showed invading eyes, Big Brother, traffic cams — the lore of popular film and television. Of course they … Continue reading

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