First Grade


Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

First grade is a place I still remember. I cannot, unlike any other grade, remember my teacher. I can’t visualize her or remember her name. She may have even been a man.

I remember that the girls could read. The words flowed off their tongues. It was like breathing, just natural for them.

I was a little different. I have been told that I talked late as a tyke. My folks had concerns about my alleged mind. However they were relieved when I spoke in full sentences as I began to speak. Wouldn’t it be great if somehow we could all learn foreign languages by osmosis, as we did when were that size?

So as you may have guessed, reading in first grade was pretty much beyond my grasp. The height of embarrassment was if I had to follow a girl in my reading to the class. It was so…

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Quiet Time?


Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

“Writing feels like solitude. I like to write with quiet around me. I even switch off my music. It’s a place I go to reflect on my thoughts.” Tuelo Gabonewe a South African novelist.

I am with Tuelo. Even beautiful melodies get in my way when I write. I try to get as close to absolute silence as one can find in a city.

In one of Malcolm Gladwell’s writings he notes he needs  activity when he works. When he went from journalist around buzzing activity to non-fiction essayist for the New Yorker, they put him in a quiet office. So, he went to busy restaurants to write. He needed non-solitude.

Human genomes are remarkably similar but our needs can differ like the sun and one human cell.

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This Writing Thing

“Five common traits of good writers: (1) They have something to say. (2) They read widely and have done so since childhood. (3) They possess what Isaac Asimov calls a ‘capacity for clear thought’, able to go from point to point in an orderly sequence, an A to Z approach. (4) They’re geniuses at putting their emotions into words. (5) They possess an insatiable curiosity, constantly asking Why and How. “James Kilpatrick, the late American columnist. 

Where am I going with this? If I didn’t have something to say, I wouldn’t have posted 1645 times. How wide is reading widely and what if if I couldn’t read well until second grade? Or maybe that was sixth grade. Clear thought is something I occasionally bump into inadvertently. Now and then I put emotions into words unintentionally. I am quite curious, and if not, this retirement thing would be akin to retiring our Kia Soul. 

So much for wheels and lug nuts and exposed brakes.