Friday, September 22, 2017

What we remember...

What we remember
about a good walk
is not the getting there,
but the going,
the sway of the light,
the feel of the path,
the tilt of the day,
the color of shadows,
the songs we heard,
the sounds we didn't.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


 If you've read a couple of short stories or novels by Neil Gaiman, you may think you know his writing. I've read several, and thought I did. But until you wade into The Ocean at the End of the Lane you haven't a clue to the depths and heights his mind is prone to wander. It is a fairy tale about children, but definitely requires a grown-up reader. Deeply dark and starkly illuminating, it will not allow you ever again to see your world, or yourself, under quite the same sky.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Yes, I am . . .

Oh, you're not old.” Often, somebody young says it, although sometimes it is somebody not so young who just wants to deny time. Of course, I'm old. If I can manage it with some measure of dignity and style, I'd like to get older yet.

Being old is not some kind of illness or handicap. It is my crowning achievement. It is who I am. It is the sum of my becoming. When you insist that I'm not old, you are denying part of my identity, part of what is me. History informs my moment, but doesn't rule it. The shorter my future becomes, the more curious I am about what comes next, and the more intensely I love and embrace all that is now.

Not that everything is pleasant right now, but looking back, I see that it never was. This is the day I am who I am, and I am glad. And thankful.

Monday, September 18, 2017

...every day.

So, the old man is writing every day. It may not be necessary, or even desirable that I should write one more book. Five books in five years is probably adequate. I'll be nearly 77 years old by the time my latest novel, Slick Rock Creek is released. A lot of writers are dead or retired at that age.

Ursula K Le Guin didn't swear off fiction until she was 87. She is still writing, has a mind-boggling blog. So maybe I'll get to go out writing. The males in my clan are usually in the ground by their mid eighties. But like I say, I'm still writing every day. Not so much because I want to see my words in print. I've done that, not as often as some, but often enough that the new has worn off. Often enough to know that published writing is not necessarily good writing. I'd rather be good than read, but if I had to choose, I'd also rather be read than dead.

The new hasn't worn off being apprehended by a story, discovering what happens next, how it all turns out. When I get tired of that, I'll be tired of life.

Sunday, September 17, 2017


Photo by David Longley

My prayer vocabulary is pretty limited. Sorry, Thanks, Wow, and Yes about cover it. Even so, I don't have any illusion that I can tell God something She doesn't already know.

On the other hand, God knows a lot of things that I don't, but desperately need to know. So mostly, in my prayers, I don't talk to God. I just try to be quiet and pay attention.

Most Sundays, I worship with a little gaggle of Episcopalians. We're big at saying prayers at God in church. I try to listen as hard as I talk on those occasions, because God is talking back to us in the silences between our words.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Reading directions...

Round Mountain, Polk County North Carolina
 Photo by David Longley

Took a little walk with my friend, Wayseeker a few days back. The trail got a little scarce on us, but we maintained our sense of direction. We were always certain of up and down.