476 Slices
Medium 9780253000958

Reasons of the Body

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

My son has never met a sport he did not like. I have met a few that left an ugly tingle—boxing and rodeo and pistol shooting, among others—but, then, I have been meeting them for forty-four years, Jesse only for twelve. Our ages are relevant to the discussion, because, on the hill of the sporting life, Jesse is midway up the slope and climbing rapidly, while I am over the crest and digging in my heels as I slip down.

“You still get around pretty well for an old guy,” he told me last night after we had played catch in the park.

The catch we play has changed subtly in recent months, a change that dramatizes a shift in the force field binding father and son. Early on, when I was a decade younger and Jesse a toddler, I was the agile one, leaping to snare his wild throws. The ball we tossed in those days was rubbery and light, a bubble of air as big around as a soup bowl, easy for small hands to grab. By the time he started school, we were using a tennis ball, then we graduated to a softball, then to gloves and a baseball. His repertoire of catches and throws increased along with his vocabulary.

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Medium 9780892727605

The World from Bellevue Street

Down East Books ePub

Gerry Boyle

E ven in winter the downtown streets of Camden are full of hunched red-faced tourists, holding their hats to their heads as they inspect the wares of the shops: paintings of sailboats and farmhouses, tea cozies with chickadees, salt and pepper shakers in the forms of rosy but inexplicably bright-eyed Maine lobsters.

If you live in Maine, Camden is one of the places you take guests who have been cooped up too long in your house. There are

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Medium 9781938901249

23. On the Plateau

Susan Spano Roaring Forties Press ePub



My brother loves deserts, slot canyons, mesas, buttes, and treacherous dirt roads. At home in his study, he pores over US Geological Survey maps and dog ears pages in hiking books like Harvey Butchart’s Grand Canyon Treks. Dry treatises on the archaeology and geology of the Southwest rivet him. Once, while bushwhacking through a canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains, he stopped short, fixed his gaze on a rock, and said “Ah, Conejo volcanics.”

Sometimes he pulls his camping gear out on the patio: camp stove, check; sleeping bag, check; headlamp, compass, TP, check, check, check. He keeps our grandfather’s rusty World War I saber under the seat of his old, white Toyota Forerunner and has a special way of setting up a tent you’d better get right if you want to go with him.

And I do, because he always takes me someplace remarkable. The year I turned 40, we did Fish and Owl Canyons in southeastern Utah, with John serving me purified water from puddles on the trail. I made him turn back on the precarious dirt road to the Maze in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, hiked with him down the Haleakala volcano on Maui, and got stuck in the Forerunner near Picacho del Diablo in Baja California.

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Medium 9780253356864

18. 4 July 1845

Robert B. Ray Indiana University Press ePub

When first I took up my abode in the woods, that is began to spend my nights as well as my days there, which, by accident, was on Independence Day, or the fourth of July 1845, my house was not finished for winter. (61)

At least since Stanley Cavell’s influential The Senses of Walden (1972), we have assumed that Thoreau’s choice to move to the woods on the Fourth of July was no “accident.” Calling his venture an “experiment,” Thoreau was, in Cavell’s terms, reenacting the original settlement of America, a continent itself accidently discovered, whose betrayed promise Thoreau now took on himself to redeem. It’s a compelling argument, one that would connect Walden to The Great Gatsby’s rapt conclusion:

Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes—a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.

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Medium 9780253220042

3. The Hand of Fatima

Elsa Marston Indiana University Press ePub



Aneesi paused outside the dining room. She had spent the long, hot summer morning helping Sitt Zeina prepare a lavish lunch, had waited on the guests without a single slip, and had just finished clearing the dessert dishes. She was tired and hungry, and her plastic sandals chafed from so much running back and forth. All she wanted right now was to sit down in the kitchen and enjoy the leftovers.

But something had caught her attention. Holding the silver serving plates still half full of pastries, she lingered in the hallway to listen.

Sitt Zeina was telling her husband, in no uncertain terms, “We must have that garden wall repaired, Yusuf. You know, where the old fig tree is pushing it over. You’ve put it off long enough, and costs are going up every day. Besides, there’s a lot more we should do with the garden.”

Before Dr. Jubeili could answer, one of the guests broke in with a laugh. “What are you thinking of, Zeina? Big ideas for the Jubeili estate?”

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