Sunday, August 30, 2009

Childrens' Stories

See what you think:

Our daughter, Cary, a beautiful, late-20's gypsy writer who lives in Portland, Oregon, spent several months in Valparaiso, Chile awhile back. Here's part of her poem 'Mi Valparaiso':

'the season is changing
in my city by the sea.
the wind whipping the national flag
outside the window
& tattered at the ends,
carries with it a new chill
calming the afternoon heat;
the impossible houses
with their innumerable colors--
the cascading staircases
like ancient senderos
veinous avenues
carrying messages of life
from the center to the hills,
from the hills to the center
circulating indefinitely
in affirmation of the bay
polluted by centuries
of comings & goings
though beautiful from heights
such as these that are mine.'


Our son, Tom, a beautiful mid-twenties traveler/writer who currently lives and teaches in Madrid, Spain just recently walked the oldest Pilgrimage in Western European Christendom. Here is one of his stories from El Camino:

"After leaving Santander w/ a bitter taste in our mouths before the break of day, and walking at record speed to cross 25km before 1pm, we were greeted in the small, nothing pueblo of Polanco by a short, stout, dirty old woman w/beady eyes & rotting teeth. 'Young men', she said, 'you have arrived so early. There is much left in the day and much more walking to be done. Despite your having rushed to get here in order to secure 3 of only 6 available beds in my meagre alberque, more will arrive much later from towns much farther, feeling much more fatigued. It is for them that I turn you away now. Walk on, Pilgrims, there are beds down the road.'
Two hours later, walking down the street you see on the front of this card, my Czech companion turned to me and said, 'Thank God that woman turned us away'. Here, in Santillana del Mar, we passed a long and lovely afternoon and evening walking medieval streets and visiting 11th C. churches and drinking vino tinto from goatskin sacks."

Childrens' stories that ring the bells of my heart.

Tim O'Brien who wrote "The Things They Carried", a powerful novel of the Vietnam War, says, "you can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil". One of the things I love about my childrens' stories is that they pledge allegiance to beauty, love and life.

Raise your glasses to Life, komrades!! L'Chaim!! Sante!! Bottoms Up!!

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