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the trains still run

They never taught us more than how to make things. They did not explain how to take pictures, or write stories, or record songs when the walls are falling down. What should you paint when the sky is falling? And yet, they taught us all we needed to know. As I have begun to understand over and over again, all art is political. All freedom is freedom. The trains still run. The cameras can still be loaded with fresh rolls of film that smell of plastic and possibility. If there is a pothole, at some point it gets filled. Sometimes it just takes a hell of a long time to happen.

The sun rises. Children trundle around in the snow, laughing, falling down and getting back up again. Yes, the news is unthinkable. Yes, the headlines are poisonous enough to make you throw things out the window. But there is still dinner to cook, and why not make it delicious? Why not crack an egg, or laugh wildly at nothing in particular?

There was a night, about eight years ago when I was told that the militia w…

the daughters of time


Truth is the daughter of time, not authority. 
Yes, I thought as I read this. The text is attributed to Francis Bacon, but Mary Tudor before that and truly Cicero before her. It is an old idea, profoundly comforting in this age of un-reason. In time, this will all make sense.

The rooms are dark. I work in silence, bare feet sweeping across the floor to make coffee, to hang the wash to dry. The light is soft and dim in the windows. The snow has come, a sort of relief. A filthy wet blanket, a constant. My hands smell of garlic and ginger. There are great cups of hot black tea, steam climbing to the ceiling.

The little one is triumphant, marching around half-naked with her head flipped all the way back in a great laugh. My wife is half-whirlwind, capable of the impossible before breakfast. My older daughter is a mysterious collection of bones and thoughts, a jumble that aligns itself when I look out of the corner of my eye and then hides again. I have a small pile of new pages, a new book, a plane parked on the runway but at least in the airport. The camera is full of fresh film. There is money in the bank. There is a little ice cream left in the freezer.

Maybe everything will be ok.

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