“But, Lena, that’s sad.”
“No, if the sunset stayed and we got bored, that would be a real sadness."
— Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine
— Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine
I had this sudden awareness, she continues, of how the moments of our lives go out of existence before we’re conscious of having lived them. It’s only a relatively few moments that we get to keep and carry with us for the rest of our lives. Those moments are our lives. Or maybe it’s more like those moments are the dots in what we call our lives, or the lines we draw between them, connecting them into imaginary pictures of ourselves.
You know, like those mythical pictures of constellations traced between stars. I remember how when I was a kid, I actually expected to be able to look up and see Pagasus spread out against the night. And when I couldn’t, it seemed like a trick had been played on me, like a fraud. I thought, hey, if this is all there is to it, then I could reconnect the stars in any shape I wanted. I could create the Ken and Barbie constellations…
I realize we can never predict when those few special moments will occur, she says. How… there are certain people, not that many, who enter one’s life with the power to make those moments happen. Maybe that’s what falling in love means…the power to create for each other the moments by which we define ourselves."
— Stuart Dybek, Paper Lantern
“Big-shot town, small-shot town, jet-propelled old-fashioned town, by old-world hands with new-world tools built into a place whose heartbeat carries farther than its shout, whose whispering in the night sounds less hollow than its roistering noontime laugh: they have builded a heavy-shouldered laughter here who went to work too young.”
~ Nelson Algren, Chicago: City on the Make
You’ve probably heard that the Ukrainian flag was planted on a Moscow skyscraper last week, and that the building’s spire was spray-painted the Ukrainian national colors of blue and yellow. On Thursday, four Russian citizens were accused of committing the act and were put under house arrest. Since their arrest, Ukrainian extreme sportsman Mustang Wanted has taken responsibility on his popular Facebook page, posting a photo of himself allegedly atop the building. Those arrested by Russian authorities deny wrongdoing, and say they were parachuting off the skyscraper coincidentally around the same time the flag was planted. Though the story has yet to be straightened out, it brings to light activist movements within Russia that have come out in opposition to Putin and in support of Ukraine’s pro-democratic movement. This movement, led by a young, educated, and politically active population of Russians has taken a stance against a corrupt and authoritative governance.
“So what is wild? What is wilderness? What are dreams but an internal wilderness and what is desire but a wildness of the soul?”~Louise Erdrich, The Blue Jay’s Dance: A Birth Year
(Photo by Valya Lupescu, Oasis 2014)
I have two longer blog posts to finish up, but I wanted to be sure to tell you about an important literary event coming up in Chicago this weekend. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ve heard me mention various things about the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, an organization dear to my heart. This Sunday, August 24, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame is holding their fourth silent auction at the Haymarket Pub & Brewery from 5-8 p.m. The gracious and talented David Eigenberg is our special guest.
We are so grateful for David’s time and support of the auction. I hope that you’ll take this opportunity to come to Haymarket and say hello, meet David, and support the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.
With the money raised, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame will come closer to realizing their potential of being the primary champion of Chicago literature, finding additional ways to celebrate Chicago’s literary heritage and honor the writers who have shaped it.
Later this year, on October 4, we will present the 2014 Fuller Award to Harry Mark Petrakis at the National Hellenic Museum; and on December 6, 2014, we will hold our fifth annual induction ceremony honoring Margaret Anderson, David Hernandez, Edgar Lee Masters, Shel Silverstein, Willard Motley and Margaret Walker.
I hope to see you there this Sunday! You can buy your tickets at:
I have a new flash fable, “As The Bright Scythe Swept Through the Waving Grass,” in the latest issue of Crack The Spine, out today!
— Cormac McCarthy (via feellng)
Win a BOOK! and a MYSTERY prize bundle!
…Straight razor NOT included in the prize pack.
Instead you will receive Varied! Wondrous! Goods!
Drawing ends 8/11/14. Enter HERE!
For those of you who attended the Fuller Award Ceremony honoring Gene Wolfe in 2012, the dramatic reading staged by the fabulous Terra Mysterium would not have been possible without Lawrence Santoro’s beautiful adaptation of Gene’s story “The Toy Theater.” It was during the preparation for that event that I first met and got to know Larry and his wife, Tycelia. Larry passed away on Friday, July 25th, and the world lost a remarkable storyteller. I am so grateful for each and every opportunity I had to talk with him and hear his stories, on and off the stage. Vichnaya Pamyat, Eternal Memory, Larry. You will never be forgotten.
Read the lovely tribute by Sally Duros on Gaper’s Block:
If you wonder what a good marriage looks like, allow me to introduce you to my parents.
Mom and Dad met in ballroom dance class. I asked Mom once,...