New York & Toronto: journal 1

Tuesday August 22 When my brother the doctor is not on call, he decompresses by setting his smart phone to airplane mode. I am on airplane mode at this moment, serene at 39,000 feet viewing the fruited plain from a 737, untethered from the constancy of digital connection and liberated from the tyranny of the lightning rod phone collecting emails, instagrams, texts, and breaking blurbs from the The Huffington Post about what Donald just tweeted to a bifurcated nation. I am on my way to Philly via Southwest Airlines where Karen will pick me up and we’ll get a hoagie … Continue reading New York & Toronto: journal 1

On Community

On a recent vacation, I was driving in Denver and saw out of the corner of my eye the passenger window coming down at a busy intersection. My friend Bob rolls down the window and has a bill crumpled in his hand. He yells out at a gritty, ragged homeless man who is seated but now trying to get on his feet, “How ya doin’? Don’t get up…here, I’ll throw it too you.” And he tosses a crumpled bill at the man’s feet. Bob rolls up the window and I said, “What did you throw?” Bob replies, “A $100 bill.” … Continue reading On Community

Blessed are the Biscuit Eaters

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in the mind of an introvert writer, here it is. We like judging people. Not in the indicting sense, but rather as a playful mind game that often displaces conversation. Shame on us who prefer an imagined conversation rather than reality. It does, however, assuage the boredom of unthinking silence. I had just ordered a maple bacon biscuit from a cafe on the edge of the Florida State University campus and after presenting payment, the young lady working the register casually threw a question at me which I considered for three seconds then … Continue reading Blessed are the Biscuit Eaters

Thanksgiving Man

Yesterday I experienced two moving moments. One was simple, a man walking along a sidewalk in my hometown. He was arguing passionately with someone, but he was totally alone, his actions said that he was invisible, and I felt sad. The second moment was poignant and filled my soul with warmth. It happened after my wife and I received one of those phone calls a parent dreads. As I watched my son being hugged by cousins and his sister, I couldn’t help but think that once that man on the street had experienced warmth and touch and the comfort of … Continue reading Thanksgiving Man

Flashes of Wonder

If I wrote like my wife talks, I’d write narrative like a kid writing home from summer camp, “I had oatmeal for breakfast and we played softball and I outran all the boys in a foot race and we had hamburgers for dinner…” But, I write like a Red Bull-drinking cat on a hot tin roof, leaping from topic to topic not waiting to interrupt myself if new sentences emerge from side streets like kids chasing the siren song of the ice cream truck. Karen and I had such a good weekend that writing of it demands a linear narrative, … Continue reading Flashes of Wonder

Skimming Along Old Man River

This weekend the Sooner football team defeated Notre Dame and I skimmed along the mud flat shoals of the Red River in an air boat with four college buddies. We powered upstream through the shallow grassy sandbars pausing to shut down the engine to chat with our guide. We then headed downstream until we reached a giant dredger pulling sand from the river. We wore no seat belts, no life preservers, there wasn’t any safety railing…just the wind in our hair, or in my case on my head. We did, however, don ear protection against the roar of the aft … Continue reading Skimming Along Old Man River

Whenever I See Your Smiling Face

Jenna and Lauren express Duchenne smiles while framing my nephew David sporting a retro-eighties mouth-only male smile James Taylor did not sing Whenever I see Your Smiling Face about professional athletes…unless of course he was referring to Phil Mickelson or Magic Johnson. Has scowling become endemic to the upper echelon of sport? Lebron James reaction to his own great dunk makes one think someone borrowed his cell phone and returned it inside a jar of grape jelly. I recently noted while watching my daughter Jenna play soccer that the tenor and tone of play, she’s a college senior, is markedly … Continue reading Whenever I See Your Smiling Face