100. Things I Can Captain: This Boat, These Waters

It’s taken two years to get here. I’ve skirted the edges of this reckoning so long I know every stitch in its hem. Now I sit in front of a screen, a calculator, and a pile of paperwork to ask the question straight out. Can we make it on my salary? I asked the same … Continue reading “100. Things I Can Captain: This Boat, These Waters”

99. Things I Can Light: Story from Flint

What men call adventures usually consist of the stoical endurance of appalling daily misery. – Louise Erdrich, The Plague of Doves Do we choose the journey or does it choose us? How much say do we really have? I imagine I’ll tell the story of now as a gritty trek through a wild and scouring … Continue reading “99. Things I Can Light: Story from Flint”

98. Things I Can Follow: His Opening Play

Three triangles adorn his shirt, each framing a fairy wizard holding a sword of light. He passes behind the man carrying in a cardboard box of 20 chicken nuggets and a tub of soda. Bellies and waifs, long necks and hoodies, scruff and Adams apples. One wears a cowboy hat, several slouch under baseball caps, … Continue reading “98. Things I Can Follow: His Opening Play”

97. Things I Can Redraw: The Boundary Lines

I remember to look up. The reason I remember is because I have been so busy looking down. Down, yes, but looking as in actually seeing. Vision is an unexpected discovery, like a forgotten scent stirring in a place of dead things. Like yesterday when I caught myself singing as I ironed my purple shirt … Continue reading “97. Things I Can Redraw: The Boundary Lines”

96. Things I Can Witness: Sickness, Health

My mother was in a severe car crash yesterday. I say “crash” because of course it was an accident. Also, two drivers slammed their vehicles into each other. Damage and injury ensued. Crash it is. I learned about this crash from a text. “I’m sorry I won’t be able to walk Noodle today. I’m at … Continue reading “96. Things I Can Witness: Sickness, Health”

95. Things I Can Trust: A Room of Want and Plenty

I was putting groceries away in the tiny kitchen when I opened a cabinet down below the silverware drawer. Empty. Large, deep, and completely bare. This was six months after I bought my home. For half a year, I had stood in front of this cabinet and chopped vegetables, rolled out pizza dough, stacked plates. … Continue reading “95. Things I Can Trust: A Room of Want and Plenty”

94. Things I Can Whisper: Become, Surrender

I do my work. I do my best to make the small decisions well, and I try not to hunger for the great things, for the deeper explanations. For I am sentenced to keep watch over this small patch of earth, to judge its miseries and tell its stories. That’s who I am. – From … Continue reading “94. Things I Can Whisper: Become, Surrender”

93. Things I Can Draw on Here: The Hidden Exposure

He stands peering through glasses backwards into a recitation of facts we lack the questions to question, a row of chairs, linoleum squares, a windowless room and young scholars slumped in the corridor. I watch a groundhog settle on his shoulder. It watches the waters rise around us, ankle then hip then neck then gills … Continue reading “93. Things I Can Draw on Here: The Hidden Exposure”

92. Things I Can Shift: The Focus

With respect to learning, the one law that is absolute is that in order to learn we have to attend to what we are learning. I expected to spend my one free Saturday this month slogging around the greater metro area to test-drive used Civics. Instead, I am flying west towards the Shenandoah mountains with … Continue reading “92. Things I Can Shift: The Focus”

91. Things I Can Carry: The Load

She stands halfway up the tower of steps balancing a small box in her arms. She’s asking a student for directions to Robinson Hall. The young man unhooks one of his thumbs from his sagging backpack and turns slowly to scan the campus behind him. He shrugs and gestures off towards everything. “I’m headed there,” … Continue reading “91. Things I Can Carry: The Load”