WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: PEDESTRIAN

Scholars date the word ‘pedestrian‘ to the early 18th century, its origin from the French pédestre or Latin pedester (going on foot). But it was also used to mean ‘written in prose’.

The 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded a few days ago.  You might remember last year’s winner, singer-songwriter Bob Dylan.  A controversial pick, his quirky long-delayed response annoyed academy members.  (It was rumored that he used SparkNotes to write his lecture. Really?)

 

Every year I hope the academy chooses perennial contender Haruki Murakami.  (Alas, this year, one of Murakami’s favorite writers, Kazuo Ishiguro, took home the prize.)  Murakami was born in the same month and year as I was but that’s where the similarities end, even though he thinks of himself as an ordinary guy.

 I see myself as a kind of ordinary guy. I don’t think of myself as an artist, mostly. I guess I’m just engineering something. I like to write. I like to choose the right word, I like to write the right sentence. It’s just like gardening or something. You put the seed into the soil at the right time, in the right place.

 

His prose is intricately fashioned, whether fiction, non-fiction, or a personal essay.   What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is a collection of gems.  It’s by turns memoir and diary, a laceratingly beautiful (and educational) narrative. Murakami writes the stories we all need to get through life, confront the past, understand the present, and move on to the future.

 

Unresolved mysteries, tales-within-tales, maybe-dreams, everyday worlds, and supernatural realms ~ in Murakami’s hands, his stories fascinate and confound.  An accomplished writer and translator, he knows how to tell a tale circuitously.  He is the kind of professor I yearned for in college, learned and challenging in equal measure.

Haruki Murakami poses questions and tenders ideas you will think about, and then think again. Exactly what Alfred Nobel had in mind.

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive.  And you may not even be sure, whether the storm is really over.  But one thing is certain.  When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.  That’s what this storm is all about.”

Stresa, Italy

Toni 10/8/17

 

Everyday Inspiration, Day Four*: A Story in a Single Image

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I keep the woods in view,
brown leaves on early winter trees;
a rabbit crouches under the pine,
the sky mottles.

I sort the hawks into categories:
Cooper’s, red-tailed, sparrow and sharp-shinned.
Geese call, woodpeckers jeer.
Cold lean birds light out from birches.

I get the moon up, turn the stars on, keep it all going right.

Toni 1/8/17

*Finding Everyday Inspiration is a twenty-day challenge that warms up your writing muscles and helps you to find inspiration in the places closest to you — but where you might not think to look.

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: RARE

I love Ben Huberman‘s posts and challenges. And his earns-the-love skillful eye. Look at this.

He says, share a photo of something rare.

I love handwritten letters.  Rare in today’s world. Not so when my parents were young.

Dad's handwriting
Dad writes to me about family history

 

Mom's handwriting
Mom sends instructions to make mittens.
Go on, send a little love, send someone a letter.
Who could you send a letter to?

Toni 8/23/16