Archive | Personal

Posts that are personal reflections


The Treadmill of Life

 Yesterday, we took a strenuous hike in the maze of rocks high above Moab, Utah. We were searching for petroglyphs and enjoying a warm, sunny autumn day. One of our sons was with us, helping us spot the ancient native pictures and making a detailed photographic record of what we found. It is difficult to […]

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Night Thoughts

 What happened to my mother’s dreams? And my father’s too? They’re gone, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. I see all the dead men and women walking arm in arm, talking, around the block near the old house. I walk with them. What are they saying? “I didn’t think it would be like this, Mike.” […]

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Ten Years on the Road, Part Two

Ten Years on the Road, Part Two

I grew up in western Pennsylvania. There were woods nearby, and while I often played in them, their wonders—the trees and birds, the changing seasons—escaped me. I never asked why the robins flocked to the neighbor’s yard in the spring or marveled at the bushes glistening in the sun after an ice storm. I didn’t […]

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Ten Years on the Road, Part One

 We’re driving in a dust storm somewhere in the Navajo Nation in Arizona. We’ve just passed “Church Rock,” and to the north in Utah is The Valley of the Gods. We can barely see the road, and the tumbleweeds are dancing on the highway, careening off the windshield and dashing madly across the desert. 660 AM […]

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A Little Night Music

A Little Night Music

panis angelicus Sometimes at night in our motel room, I put on headphones and listen to music on my computer. I subscribe to Rhapsody, which gives me access to millions of songs. I pick one and go from there.  Once a piece is chosen, Rhapsody recommends others; a second song leads to a third, and so forth, […]

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As I Turn Sixty-Five

As I Turn Sixty-Five

 I began teaching, at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, in 1969. I was twenty-three years old. Like all new employees, I had to fill out employment forms. One of them concerned my pension. I had to mark my expected retirement date. Everyone then considered sixty-five to be the normal retirement age, so I added […]

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"That Which is Full of Wonder"

"That Which is Full of Wonder"

There is something astonishing about rock arches, and every time we see one, we marvel that nature could produce such works of art.  How can there be such a thing as Landscape Arch, the longest in the world, an impossibly thin span of 290 feet, stretching like a rainbow between its sandstone moorings and made […]

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Strikes and Spares

Strikes and Spares

 We were in Las Vegas, a cheap stopover on our way to a month or so in southern Utah.  Our hotel, South Point, is on Las Vegas Boulevard but far south of the Strip. It’s a good place to stay.  The staff is friendly, and our room, which was larger than our old New York […]

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