Showing posts from November, 2007

Closely Watched Trains

Not much movement here at Sancho Panza I’m afraid, and I do apologize. We are a week away from moving this operation to Paris, and then a few days later to New York. It’s a rough time, logistically, because we have to go through all the stress of closing down an apartment and all that business, but in French, which makes it that much harder. We’re getting somewhere, now the last day is imminent, but there is a lot to do and I’m not in the right frame of mind for writing very much. We found out yesterday that there will be a countrywide strike this week, effectively closing down all trains and public transportation throughout France. We’d bought a train ticket to Paris a few weeks ago, and for the very day that they have declared the big strike day, because that’s when teachers will join the rail, bus, gas, and electricity employees, as well as the students, in their strikes. The teachers and the transportation and utility employees are all fighting to retain their sweetened pension pac

Bringing Up Baby

Thomas is seventeen. Great Scott, I don’t see it. The Owens baby is practically an adult, one year shy of being eligible to run for political office or ready now to sign up for military service: little Tom, terrified in the back of a Humvee, white knuckles on the stock of a heavy gun. Tiny Tom-Tom, who can now rent Eyes Wide Shut with impunity. Unbelievable, that the little rat let his childhood slip by us so fast. Not that we didn’t see it: he’s been bigger than all of us for a couple years. ( “Check out these trapezii. Jacked out of my mind.” ) And he’s made a distinct divergence from any paths we, or at least I, had laid out for him. I didn’t raise him to be a football star. I can’t see adulthood yet, but I can see his separateness, his individualism. He’s been bucking his babyhood for a long time, and why not? He’s watched the rest of us leave. He’s had as much a chance to be different as any of us: lastborn, male, country-raised and city-tested. Now he’s what none of us has been,

The Atavist Damns You All On His Blog

Now is the magic time. Summer has exhausted the sun and the green things of the earth have swallowed up their abundance. Trees fat on plenty count another ring and bear down for the dormant season. They expend themselves on a last gasp, bright green leaves drooped with ants explode to red then gold and the wind shakes every living thing out. Every last sunbeam catches, and then the sun burns out before any earth thing has given up. It’s the moon season coming. Furious winds blow out of the great earth and steal away each last dry and cracked leaf. They fall far and long in looping, swirling descents whose grace dwarf humanity’s attempts at beauty: no plastic art has eclipsed the complex, everyday miracle of motion in nature. Who has studied a painting for as long as they have a flame or the surf or the rustling of ten thousand leaves in a gentle breeze? Black leaves line the banks of the river. The trees are stripped bare and shrunken. Moonlight falls splashing on every inch of the bla