a meditation for changing times

the weather in the world is changing. It’s always changing, but…this time is different: the bad things that are afoot in the world spread everywhere and reach everything through our “conveniences.” More than ten years ago, a soulless Russian computer hacker deployed malware that turned a hundred million-million personal computers into a coordinated theft machine. Robbed small businesses, banks, and more. This network exists today. It drapes the planet. Displayed in red on an FBI cybercrime unit computer screen, it looks like lavish blood spatter.


There is still great power in fortune, but no refuge.

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braking spin

what if the media had not covered Barr’s 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th pre-release pronouncements? Or, what if the media showed these things one time, and thereafter simply and flatly reminded viewers what he said, but did not show him saying it, did not augment the message with the thousand trappings of his office that are part of a video picture? Or better, did not repeat, but merely referenced, his prior messaging? What if we put the onus back on Barr to get his own message out and abroad?

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everyday magic

Miraculously, the stub, long dormant, begins to live. Tiny swellings appear at its tip, and at every joint along its length — and these became nubbins, and their surfaces stretch and swell, popping and releasing more tiny things that burst forth fully formed. New things that arrive like leaves, creased and crammed into microscopic packages, and when released to the light and the air, unfurl. Things that open themselves up, just by continuing. Things that must open when they grow too large to remain folded.


Just because naming things is your prerogative doesn’t mean you know enough yet to do so.

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trying to read an old manuscript

I have a box full of old correspondence between my two grandparents — a hundred letters, refolded and tucked back into their envelopes, dating back a century to the start of their story together. And on one crisp, creased sheet of newsprint is a pencil draft of a poem.

… a hundred years on, that’s what is left: this bit of tragic bravery: this mighty effort, unsuccessful, to articulate what seemed at the time ineffable

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story, not-story

notes: @neilhimself says, in his experience, stories arise from confluence: werewolf lore collides with what we know of goldfish, say — or with chairs — what if a werewolf bites the chair in which you are sitting? What would next seem useful to have in such a story? Gaiman suggests, maybe snow? So the reader may be mystified by tracks of chair legs leading away from a dead body… I can get that far — but only that far. I’m not the sort to follow chair tracks off into a winter night. I would stall there, sitting by that dead thing in the snow. Given the choice, I usually opt to sit down and take inventory right where I find myself. And this is not experience. This is not story. This is explication.


When we are warm enough, safe enough, alone enough, what is not-us may even be rendered invisible.

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