Issue № 28

A form of movement

The old and the very young have always held sway for me because of bald and unerring candor, and the lack of affectation. They had either stopped posing or had not yet learned to pose.

~ Mylinh Shattan from,

Intentional or not, I’m awarding style points for the innuendo which Shattan’s use of the word bald brings to that first sentence. Beyond that this piece is the epitome of fusing a personal story with an overview of a book. I’ve not done that often—if at all, sorry, I’m too lazy even to search—in short-form as she has.

But in classic “this stuff is me doing my personal reflection with the garage door up” style, it occurs to me that I do do it a lot in micro-form. Basically every one of these my missives combines something I found lying about, a bit of commentary about it, and then my personal thoughts or stories. Am I draw to other writing which is of similar form? Am I unintentionally writing within some genre whose name I know not? Am I crazy? Am I insane? (Am I the victim of evil doers out to destroy me? Perhaps. I don’t know what it is— a deep-fried feeling I guess.)


Just as a well-filled day brings blessed sleep, so a well-employed life brings blessed death.

~ Leonardo da Vinci

Kill it. Kill it with fire.

It was the briefest slice of light, a telltale shimmer, that revealed you. It glinted up your thread, running down from the ceiling to the lamp sitting incongruous in the middle of an unpacked living room. Did you stow away in that lamp, riding rough in the back of the moving van, those three long evening hours? I hope you did. You deserve this space as much as we do.

~ Peter Welch from,

I don’t want to say I aspire to write as well as Welch. (I do. Just don’t want to say it.) I stumbled on his stuff pretty late in his writing arc. This piece makes me happy. Go ahead, click, it’s not too long. Perambulate through it. The more you perambulate, the better will be the ending.

…unless you don’t like Welch’s writing. Then ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ move along. Nothing to see here.


A coward flees backward, away from new things. A man of courage flees forward, in the midst of new things.

~ Jacques Maritain

Mwah wah wa wah wah

Friends’ mouths vanished. I roamed shops and streets suddenly filled with featureless people, their speech now as indecipherable as that of Charlie Brown’s invisible schoolteacher: wah wah wah wah wah. Whenever I saw the masks and thought of all they had erased, I felt dismay.

~ Rachel Kolb from,

I read lips quite well thanks to lifelong hearing impairment. When I was intensely working to learn and use French, it took me a while to realize that my subconscious lip reading was causing me trouble. Somehow, someone speaking French caused this subconscious stress from some part of my visual processing brain. I really don’t have words to describe it. I did not realize any of this, until I noticed I had developed a habit of not looking at people when they spoke French.

Obviously, masking affected people who rely to any extent on reading lips. But during our Era of the Masks I’ve been wondering how much the loss of visual information effects everyone. Everyone reads lips. And suddenly you’ve lost that visual comprehension component. Even if it’s subconscious, that’s going to effect us.

Thank you

When someone reveals something that they’re struggling with, or something painful that happened to them, I often find myself saying, “I’m so sorry, thank you for sharing that with me.” Let’s acknowledge that you’ve just said something, that there’s nothing I can say that’s gonna lift that pain. By saying that, you’re focusing the conversation on what they’ve disclosed to you. You can also talk about how you’re talking about it. You can say, “I don’t know what to say right now. But I just want to tell you, I’m really sorry to know that.”

~ Anna Sale


Everyone is heavily influenced by what they’ve experienced firsthand, because what you’ve experienced is more persuasive than something you read about.

~ Morgan Housel from,

That’s one small insight from a bunch in an article nominally about finance. Most of the others also apply to life generally. What’s that old saw from Twain? Something like, “holding a cat by the tail, you’ll learn something through experience that can be learned no other way.” I find it fascinating that, although I’d wager none of you have done that with a cat, we all have a good idea of what we’d learn in the doing.

Related, I once managed—mostly successfully—to wrangle a 6-foot iguana which had horrifically befouled itself, into a warm, steamy shower enclosure, myself remaining outside. It occurred to me to use long oven mitts, to grab from behind, and to keep her oriented so her thrashing tail swung in a plane not including any of me. Through that experience I learned a lot about an iguana’s claws, the true range-of-motion of that body plan’s limbs, and the level of focus and determination she had from millions of years of evolution. We also developed a new relationship: me, wary. Her, indefatigable drive to some day murder my pasty, clawless ass.

Until next time, thanks for reading.



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