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The Instability of Clouds

on February 1st, 2015 by mark

The sunsets have been fiery and full of impossible colors that whirl through the western sky and dance off over the horizon. January has not been a good month-but the sunsets have been promising pink and purple, blue and lavender, gold and orange. Control is a cruel and unhappy taskmaster. It cannot be a mistress, […]

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Breaking Faith

on December 25th, 2014 by mark

Sometimes the warm embrace of Christmas carries with it weight of such unbearable charge that it’s hard to be happy, jolly or even optimistic. The biting years gather at night and they climb the walls, drowning you in a cold chill of memory and time, age and decay. You learn to survive, of course. You […]

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The Sacred

on November 9th, 2014 by mark

I stood today and watched under a warm sun with cool breezes as a curtain of fog and cloud rolled in from the Pacific. It’s the first time we’ve seen fog like that in quite a few months and with Halloween’s sudden but brief rain storm, it was a welcome nudge out of the heat […]

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Frankenstein

on October 25th, 2014 by mark

The ineffable pull of direction as I grow into middle age is harder to manage. It’s not demands on my time that I mind, it is demands on my personality and my sense of self. Until suddenly, I awake with that very feeling I didn’t expect–the one I should have dealt with many years ago, […]

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A race built for rats

on October 12th, 2014 by mark

When the sky darkens, as it must inevitably, the whole world is full of fire. News of epidemic outbreaks, ceaseless war and all of the thousand natural shocks that come each morning with the daybreak, are constant topics of discussion and constant sources of impotence to stop or change them. Our own world was rocked […]

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My Daughter’s Hundred-Foot Journey

on September 14th, 2014 by mark

Writing now in the post European adventure era is a little more daunting than I expected. What can compare to journeys abroad into parts unknown and experiences that, in moments, changed our lives? Well the answer surprised me, too. Last weekend, Shannon and I had a daddy-daughter night out while Sue and friends had Bunco […]

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Austria X: The End of it All

on August 30th, 2014 by mark

“and so there ain’t nothing more to write about, and I am rotten glad of it…” Huck Finn. Well, actually I’m not rotten glad of it. We’ve been home now well over a month and we’re back in our routines. Shannon and I are back at our respective schools and I’m writing several stories for […]

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Austria IX: Leaving for London in the Sunset

on August 22nd, 2014 by mark

The day before we left for London, 650 miles to our east, a small group of Russian separatists or rebels–the media has different names for them depending on who they like on a particular day–targeted a Malaysian airliner as it flew en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Whether or not they knew it was […]

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Austria VIII: Fuschl Am See

on August 12th, 2014 by mark

Bursts of sunset through pink, grey and even red clouds defined the dying minutes of daylight in Fuschl. One morning out of the five we were there, a driving rain poured from the sky, but quietly and softly with birds still chirping through it as the green hillsides lapped up the moisture and the swans […]

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Austria VII: Crossing the Border

on August 10th, 2014 by mark

I remember walking up the stairs from the basement at Conni’s family’s house. Sue and I were quartered there as was Aunt Laurie in another room. It was cool and comfortable for us and it beat the summer heat. I was heading up to join the others on the patio and I stopped short of […]

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