Sandy D’Entremont, Gently

We think we know right action, but in any given moment, the choices may be unclear, no right answers—or wrong ones for that matter. Twain says, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.” Phantom air currents draw ripples in the puddles, the touch of the invisible. Ordinary activities—such as shopping, going to the movies, or walking to the bus—can lead to experiences of shock, confusion, and mistaken interpretation, a result of unplanned trajectories that may color our experience for a moment or forever. Always why. Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. Everything about my mother was serious: serious complaints, serious beauty, serious drinking; serious enough to call the doctor, but no one did. Pink tea roses on a white trellis. The angel of Judgment heralds a paradigm shift: resurrection, awakening, exaltation, liberation. You pays your money and you takes your chances. Every family has its troublemakers, its do-gooders, its golden boy, but all the worn out comparisons make for boring funeral conversations. Time to get to work. Teeth clamped around a cigar, a mustached man rides a red snow machine across a winter meadow, a chocolate lab perched on the seat in front of him. Mind full or mindful—that is the question. Another time, another place, another skin, another face, but I recognize you anyway. Language presents no barriers in nature. If she doesn’t learn discipline, what might become of her? Kodachrome moments, incredible yellow, orange, and red flowers covering every surface, but no one else could see them. I think within each of us (and perhaps writers more than most) lies a simple yearning to be seen. Stop fidgeting. The wheel turns, a beginning and an ending, a remembering and a forgetting, the stories we spin simply fragments of the whole. Is it true blondes have more fun? Gently, so as to do no wrong; gently, so as to make no sound; gently, so as to erase any trace you were even here. What happens to dreamers when the Western world insists they are simpletons? But is her prose sincere? Follow the yellow brick road. And when it’s all said and done, who’s to say whether a random twist of fate was what made the difference between these words on paper and the inside of a prison cell.

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