WHEN THE WHOLE HOUSE SHUDDERS
by Jnana Hodson
Just a taste of what’s popping up. In case you were looking for a prompt.
- Maybe it was all the commuting or the years of leaping from a job in one locale to another in what was supposed to be a climb up the corporate ladder or even the efforts to keep up with the personal writing and publication based in my “off-duty” hours, but when it came to a vacation, I increasingly wanted simply to stay home. Maybe because I’m finally seeing that logjam or backup break loose, my outlook is changing. I wouldn’t mind a little travel. Or maybe even a year abroad, the classic artist in exile.
- After hanging a toasted half-bagel from an outdoor branch, I watch a squirrel run off with it rather than nibbling bits on the scene.
- I wake to see a shadow flying against the wall before hearing the crash: two more giant icicles melting away in the morning sunlight. The whole house shudders.
- A least I’m not playing solitaire these days. How many hours on how many late nights were so occupied, usually winding down after work?
- An old man in a baggy gray coat and black shoes and black slacks and old-man baggy hat walks down the street. He smokes a pipe, the phantom who would haunt the author in 50 years. Except that now, the Author will not touch a pipe – or cigar. (Gee, I did use this – or a variation – somewhere, didn’t I?)
- After one online exchange, I realized the man’s both hard-hearted and deaf – a dangerous combination. His answers come out of a can.
- Back when I drafted Subway Hitchhikers, I imagined an underground network of kindred souls who could venture about anywhere on their thumbs – city or country, all filled with surreal encounters. Nowadays, we can see ourselves as cyber-hitchhikers, going about anywhere we want without having to venture out. But where’s the surrealism, risk, and full-body connection?
- She agrees. We’re much closer to Amish values than to mainstream American society and its tastes.
- There are times we must ask, “Is it Quaker work rather than God’s work?” Ever see a parallel in your own faith community?
- Any of you brush your teeth with baking soda? My dentist got me in the habit of dipping my toothbrush and paste in the powder before getting down to business. Have to admit it feels refreshing.