Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Family, From Afar

How is it that my family looks morebeautiful from afar?

I am running the lake, feet pounding the gravel, breath pounding from lungs with each thud, and I see them -- standing on the concrete dock, like an island, a pedastal, holding them like art, no sound of them. Ken. Noah. Katherine's canary yellow stroller. Bright against the green trees, the gray sky, the smooth silver water. Framed. Still life. I slow down, hear only my breath. I want to stop running, to grin, satisfied, to linger, to take them in, like a painting I want to stop and gaze at for a long time, no sound of them, just my eyes soaking them in as art, no words, my heart gasping now, how beautiful they look from this distance, three beings somehow one solid sculpture of family, my family. Oh, my heart.

I didn't want to admit this - how much more I can see the beauty now, then up close, when I am mostly myopic and feeding and wiping and bossing.

And today I come across a quote I saved a few long months ago from the back of The Sun - and I feel better to know - why - they looked so beautiful in that moment on the dock, far away, no sound.

"If you see the whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern." ~ Ursula K. Le Guin

Thank goodness for moments from afar; those tiny glimpses of the whole.

Friday, May 4, 2012

No Longer Spineless

Following a decade of publication in magazine journals and newsprint-style formats, behold: The Spine.

If you're interested in cross-cultural conversations, you can find The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays in all the usual places books are sold: the big A, B&N or your friendly local bookstore, as well as in downloadable formats for Kindle and Nook. Or put in a request at your local libary to purchase a copy for loan. And let me know if they do as I'd be honored. Our libraries are amazing.

Among the 20 diverse essays on sociocultural topics, you will find my essay on the experience of growing up overseas from zero to 18 years old, and then "coming home" to the U.S.: "Fragments--Finding Center".

Strange how different a book feels, being published in one. I tend towards essay writing, and love all good writing regardless of book or magazine. So I'm suprised at the difference suddenly how much more permanent a spine feels.

It means I can be in libraries. It means I can take a place among people's bookshelves at home. It's a sweet spot.