I’ve logged more experience than most with simplicity and the complexity you discover inside simplicity, minimalism and asocial behavior, endurance and landscape.
Here is the truth: I think some deep wisdom inside me (a) sensed the stress, (b) was terrified for me, and (c) gave me something new and hard to focus on in order to prevent me from lapsing into a despair coma — and also to keep me from having a jelly jar of wine in my hand.
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Eleanore Devine lives in Winnetka, Illinois. Her collection of short stories, You’re Standing in My Light, was published last year by Beacon Press. She has upcoming stories in Other Voices and Southwest Review. An earlier version of her story in this issue first appeared in Nit & Wit.
Through rain and sun and fog, through snows that melted before he was done with them, in winds that screamed at him, the painter stamped and shouted and reached out with his brush to catch the light before it was gone.
Kevin Murray, retired, one-time police chief of a small midwestern city, turned on his electric typewriter and began his third letter of the day. “Dear Abbie Hoffman, It says in the newspapers you killed yourself because you weren’t getting enough attention. Makes sense. More sense than most of what you said. . . .”
Her fingers caressed her statue. She pressed her thumbs into the woman’s forehead. Her beloved clay was soft and cool and oily. Her mother had willed her the clay. Heritage clay. Ninety years old. “It will mold your life,” her mother had said. Now Dorothy’s life threatened the clay. Her hand was too heavy.