Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I am back in an organize-and-purge mode to continue what seems to be the neverending process of settling and resettling.In the course of it, I came across a stash of pictures that had been on my office wall in grad school and beyond.

First there was the New Yorker cartoon that I've kept in one writing space or another since the early nineties. It's yellowed and marked with old tape now, but I still couldn't quite rid myself of it.

Then, there was a picture that has followed me for even longer, from the days when I played flute and spent my summers at Interlochen. What's remarkable about this—besides my old preppy look—is the power of the black-and-white printing. Until you've put a properly developed BW print next to the crap that comes out of automatic developers in most photo labs these days, you don't realize the stark contrast—hence the second shot under here, taken from the Staten Island ferry a little over ten years ago.

Then there was the picture of Erik and me at the edge of the Grand Canyon. This one came on a whimsical trip, shortly after we'd both turned thirty and not long before we would both become fathers. Two friends on the edge of a remarkable canyon, and on the edge of remarkable journeys in life.

And last but not least is the postcard I had saved from the motel I stayed at on my first two nights in Fayetteville. I can only imagine the glory The Chief must have seen in its heyday when Fayetteville was first coming up in the world. Imagination is all that's possible because by the time I chose it as an inexpensive place to stay close to the university, it was the refuge of a few transient families and locusts, saved only by the odd addition of one of the better restaurants in Fayetteville. That good restaurants would occupy a corner of dive motels was, in fact, an odd trait of Northwest Arkansas ten years ago. Good times...