Tag Archives: stories

Can you imagine…?

“My house is full of people escaped from literature. If this is the case in my home, can you imagine how it is in a library?” — Isabel Allende I know exactly what Allende means, because my house– or really wherever I find myself– is also crowded with literary escapees. Look over there in the …

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Small places in a large world

“A story is a garden you carry in your pocket. The stories we tell ourselves and each other are for pleasure and refuge. Like gardens they are small places in a large world. But…we must never mistake the stories we tell for truth.” – Alexandra  Curry Over 30 years ago in a Bible class, the teacher …

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A good calling

“We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us life doesn’t mean anything and that humanity has no great purpose. It’s a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to …

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Go beyond

“…novels go beyond simulating reality to give readers an experience unavailable off the page: the opportunity to enter fully into other people’s thoughts and feelings..Reading great literature, it has long been averred, enlarges and improves us as human beings. Brain science shows this claim is truer than we imagined” — Annie Murphy Paul Even if …

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Our old home life

“I was never before so eager to cling to every bit of our old home life and to see you…Come and see me, I am homesick…” — C. S. Lewis Today is my 900th regular post, so I hope you will bear with me as I try something a little bit different. I’m bringing you …

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Opening the gates

“Books. They are lined up on shelves or stacked on a table. There they are wrapped up in their jackets, lines of neat print on nicely bound pages. They look like such orderly, static things. Then you, the reader come along. You open the book jacket, and it can be like opening the gates to …

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Learn to look passionately

“…it is even more urgent that we learn to look passionately and technically at stories, if only to protect ourselves from the false and manipulative ones being circulated among us.” ― George Saunders Tomorrow is the third anniversary of this blog.  For the past year, I’ve published posts only twice weekly, instead of the daily posts that …

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We are all storytellers

“We are all storytellers, photojournalists of lives that are rich with tears, bruises, tenderness, strangeness and humor.  There’s nothing wrong with shooting smiles and holidays and rituals, but life isn’t a marketing campaign.  More interesting stuff is going on.  That’s your job as a photographer – to shoot the world as it is.  Remember that …

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We come home, eventually

“Our ancestors derived less from life than we do, but they also expected much less and were less intent on controlling the future. We are of the arrogant generations who believe a lasting happiness was promised to us at birth.” ― Amin Maalouf “We return to the lives of those who have gone before us, …

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Dressed for Halloween

There’s a ghost who haunts my bedroom, A witch whose face is green, They used to be my family Till they dressed for Halloween. — Sandra Liatsos Whether or not you plan to dress up for the holiday, I hope you’ll take the time to enjoy the cute and creative trick-or-treaters who may be showing …

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Indistinguishable elements

Dear blog readers, Yesterday afternoon Jeff and I got shocking news of the unexpected death of a dear family member, Larry.  Those of you who read the comments may already know of him through his thoughts that he often posted here.  Larry was the husband of Jeff’s younger sister, Jennifer. He died Saturday at their …

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More like rivers

“At the time I did not know that stories of life are often more like rivers than books.” ― Norman Maclean Jeff and I spent the first four years of our marriage in Memphis, Tennessee, while he attended dental school there.  I loved the city for many reasons, but what I loved most was the …

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The past belongs

“It’s not that I belong to the past, but the past belongs to me.” — Mary Antin We can only wonder about the future, but in a very real sense, the past does belong to us.  Not only our own individual pasts, but the entire past, all of recorded history and much of unrecorded history …

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The light of the past

“…everything is illuminated in the light of the past. It is always along the side of us…on the inside, looking out.” ― Jonathan Safran Foer I think it’s interesting that the rapidly accelerating understanding of genetics is co-occurring with an increase in hobbies related to ancestry.  Scrapbooking, photography, genealogy, cultural studies, family reunions and organized …

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Forever free

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” — Frederick Douglass Matt taught himself to read before he started kindergarten, and throughout his elementary school years, his reading tested at several years above grade level.  Given the severity of some of his other learning challenges, including extremely deficient motor planning and poor neurological …

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What grandparents do

“Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do.  Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.” — Alex Haley I’ve written about my mother’s wonderful mother.  I didn’t mention my other grandmother, or either grandfather, but suffice it to say that my siblings and I hit the lottery jackpot when it …

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A graveyard can teach you

“Spending time in a graveyard can teach you a lot about living. When I stopped at each grave I swear I could almost hear the silent stories of perfect strangers. Their tombs like silent philosophies of all the ways a life can be lived.” — Simone Nacerima Graveyards are a common motif at this time …

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Costumes tell a story

“Clothes make a statement.  Costumes tell a story.” — Mason Cooley I mentioned a couple of days ago that my siblings and I much preferred making our own Halloween costumes over buying them in a store.  Perhaps it’s because the store-bought costumes in those days were cheesy little plastic masks coupled with cheap apron-like printed …

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If you look closely

“Even the most ordinary life is a mystery if you look close enough.” — Kennedy Fraser It seems to me one of the saddest aspects of modern culture that people get a lot of their reality from television shows.  Admittedly I know very little about it since I’ve shunned television for over 25 years now, but …

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Irrevocably a reader

“At one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a book—that string of confused, alien ciphers—shivered into meaning. Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; at that moment, whole universes opened. You became, irrevocably, a reader.” – Alberto Manguel It’s never to late to have this magical instant happen in your life.  …

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Read them fairy tales

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” — attributed to Albert Einstein I could not verify that the quote above actually came from Einstein, but countless sources verify his more famous statement that “imagination is more important …

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The safekeeping of enchantment

“I have always felt charged with the safekeeping of all unexpected items of worldly or unworldly enchantment, as though I might be held personally responsible if even a small one were to be lost.” — E. B. White The unforgettable writer who gave us Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web and The Trumpet of the Swan certainly …

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