Culture and Society
Abby has a progressive congenital disorder, fatal, and lives her young life with a deep-running current of wisdom in her spirit, a quiet equanimity to her understanding of what it means to be alive in a day that the rest of us can only feel as hint and shadow.
Decorah sat in the impact crater of an asteroid that had struck the earth hundreds of millions of years ago. One of the extinct giant sea creatures exhumed from its crust — the shrimp-looking Pentecopterus decorahensis — had been named after the town.
I suggest that a powerful antidote to the manufactured past now being created for us is the secret history of Indians in the twentieth century. Geronimo really did have a Cadillac and used to drive it to church, where he’d sign autographs.
(As Explained In A Letter To My Son)
You see that the cruelty of the Happy Vertex is its fleeting nature. Line A plunges downward, line B eventually plateaus, and before you know it, the distractions take over, and you’re thinking about girls, or you take a brief but intense interest in Mazda Miatas. Soon you’ll think about money, nothing but money.
In uncertain times, your donations allow us to extend generosity to others: by paying writers and photographers decently; by giving free subscriptions to incarcerated men and women; by offering scholarships to our writing retreats. And in each issue that same spirit of generosity flows between writers who are willing to take risks and readers who are willing to consider new perspectives, even ones that challenge their assumptions.
A book’s characters always wait for us. No matter what happens to me during the day, Kerouac remains exactly where he was yesterday. He never moves without my permission. I reanimate him at my whim.
We need constant proof that we’re not alone. And if we don’t see a companion, we strain to hear one in the dark. And when there is no whistle in return? I’m here to tell you, we will make one up.
That word, competence, came to me after my six-year struggle; it came as an alternative, if not an outright escape hatch, to the daily grind of despair.
Even at the peak of my methamphetamine days, I would have had trouble talking for seven hours. I aim to please, however. A longing to please is both my weakness and my strength. It’s why I cook, why I write, why I take five years to get a sentence right, why I’m so goofily polite, why I reply to fan letters from prisoners.