Ghosts wear snow in the early morning hours and walk around like debutants at a ball. The wind lifts the hems of their long dresses and there is nothing beneath but a few dog tracks. How lonely it must be to be dead.
Nothing stirs but the wind that rattles rain gutters and pulls on the hinges of blistered shutters. A pair of boots has been left out on a patio of gray flagstones, the mud still clinging to their heels like forgotten promises.
Pick up three objects from a shelf, or a mantel, or your kitchen counter and describe them in detail. Why did you choose them? What stories do they contain?
I was sure that I had failed my mother, unable to keep her in her home, as I had once promised.
Remember how effortlessly those guys caught it behind their backs or else by tapping it first from underneath so it paused in place and spun like a galaxy.
Fifty-five years ago, I spent a memorable week on the tiny island of Iona off the west coast of Scotland, the site to which St. Columba came from Ireland in A.D. 563, to inaugurate the Christian mission to northern Britain.
Everything seems to glow richer before first frost, a last hurrah before the ghostly breath passes over.
Perhaps the horrors of 2020—the fires and hurricanes, Trump’s vicious attacks on democracy, the death, sickness, and economic dislocation caused by Covid-19—can force a real conversation about national security in 2021. Maybe this time we can finally ask whether trying to prop up a dying empire actually makes us—or indeed the world—any safer.