Needs in the Time of COVID-19

“Life’s too short,” says Jill, explaining why she’s quitting an acting gig in a commercial. “You gotta do what makes you happy.” “Yeah,” Jack, the advertising executive, responds. “The thing is, people don’t know what makes them happy. They think they know, because we tell them. Real happiness is bad for sales.” (Jack and Jill …

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A Snapshot of Everywhere

Scene: A pair of bare athletic legs and shoe-less feet, revealed from mid-thigh below a privacy partition screening the back work area of a rural post office from its front-facing public space, legs dancing – and dancing well! – without the least inhibition, to Johnny Cash’s I’ve Been Everywhere playing on the small space’s single …

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Photographs and Journal Notes and Other Stuff of Memories

I hiked desert mountains of the U.S. Southwest with a retired Boston firefighter I met while pedaling a remote Nevada road. The incongruity of his lush New England accent amid those vast arid settings was reminder that we are all travelers, each on our own peculiar journey through time. Among the surprises of that desert …

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Ghosts Over Central Park

She stood waiting in the lobby of her building, shushing the nurse worrying over her – both giggling – devotion, each to the other, obvious in every gesture. I gasped, “Oh, but she is gorgeous! You didn’t warn me!” My companions had described her age, but little else. Childlike yet poised, delicate yet enduring, unpretentious …

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Trace Encounters – Why We Wander

“Y’all okay?” It was a bright, postcard-worthy Saturday afternoon on the Natchez Trace Parkway. A steady north breeze pushed Southern Mississippi’s oppressive humidity back to the Gulf of Mexico, to the relief of all but the few Nashville-bound bicycling tourists for whom it served a challenging headwind. “Need me to come down there?” His voice, …

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Aerodynamic and Metabolic Reality

It’s hard work pedaling/pushing a loaded bike up a mountain, but the mountain pays you back with an equal descent, right? Often the same day? But air is weighty – about two pounds per cubic yard (1.2 kilograms per cubic meter) at the altitudes and temperatures where most of us live. We seldom notice it …

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