Going back

April 24, 2014 § 1 Comment

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Monastery garden in Pleiku, Viet Nam

Before I made my first visit to Vietnam three years ago, I put a message on a Linkedin group for UNC alums, asking for memories of the 60s in Chapel Hill. I had in mind a community-building reminiscence about a challenging and exciting time, shared with the benefit of the wisdom that comes from decades of reflection.

That didn’t work out so well.

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Game Changers

April 17, 2014 § 1 Comment

dvcoyote_2“Why did it take you so long to tell me you saw some of my cousins?” Coyote asked. “I’d like to hear about that!”

He was painting the dining room. I was a little surprised. When I left he said he was just going to paint the pantry so that had been fine with me. Now there were drop cloths everywhere.

“Well, yes, I did, as a matter of fact.” I said. “In Death Valley, between Mormon Point and Split Cinder Cone.” « Read the rest of this entry »

Signs and Wonders

April 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

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lizard tracks in the sand

I couldn’t see the lizard and then I could. I will never forget the moment. It thrills and haunts me. It wasn’t that I found it by scanning or that I was looking in the wrong place and got redirected. I was looking right at the lizard and I couldn’t see it and then I could. “The scales fell from my eyes,” is the Biblical language and I don’t mind using that language here because the moment did feel mystical. It felt like a gift had been given to me, one that I had longed for without knowing it.

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Going to the Desert

April 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

LV_1The flight comes in as the sun is going down, catching peaks in gold and highlighting the ring of mineral deposits that finish the shoreline like a ruffled bedskirt. We land and come into a concourse with its early-warning array of slot machines. Then down an escalator facing an enormous picture of Bobby Flay and into the baggage claim area where there are more carousels than I have ever seen in any airport and everything is pounding music and flashing advertisements for shows and spouting cascades of lights and rings and clatters and I think, Come on, Las Vegas. You are being a parody of yourself! « Read the rest of this entry »

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