Tidings

lights

The Ebersold’s were almost home. Lara Ebersold had lost her sister Nan that evening to a stroke. David didn’t know much of what to say, only to remind her that it was okay to feel angry. It was okay if you want to hit things, he said. She gripped the armrest, pulled her knees together, and set her head against the cold glass of the window. Her eyes were leaking thin tears and she had a headache.

“How does it happen? God, how does this happen to somebody?” David said. “Nan was such a sweet lady.” He shook his head.  “Mmmm.” He didn’t know how to hurt like Lara was hurting, so he decided to get her attention on things that he knew and that they could grieve together, thinking it would offer Lara some company in her pain.

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Fire

paintbrushes

An after-school hour inside Ms. Taylor’s dim room;

She and I wash brushes in the large aluminum sink.

The boys in my grade go for Mrs. Rodriguez, but not me.

Ms. Taylor is plain, but she is alive, alert. She is young.

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Where is Justin Bieber Now?

1280px-Justin_Bieber_March_2011

The new Justin Bieber video, which recently hit one-hundred million views on Youtube, is astounding. It’s remarkable, really. Go watch it before we go on. It is proper art, I think, and it might be the only artful thing left for Justin to do (or at least for Justin’s team of persona-makers to do).

In the opening frames, the camera flies through an art gallery to see the trademarked Bieber being his trademarkable self in several of the photos on the gallery walls, crooning and staring into the lens, wetting his lips between lip-synced words, walking around an empty, backlit stage. None of this is interesting, I know. Typical pop music video material.

But once we are out of the first verse, the video begins to tell a story.

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On Seeing Facebook Recommend I Tag the Face of Christ

StJohnsAshfield_StainedGlass_GoodShepherd_Face

I’m scrolling

pictures on my home page,

when there He is: white,

robed, and framed, hanging

background to a casserole

scene at Aunt Dara’s.

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Vacation, Pt. 2

firework

Haley and I were at the front of the pack when we started through the empty plain of pavement. I was trying to catch anything in her face or her movements—fear, boredom, excitement, whatever—but I couldn’t find anything. We learned that Group Pluto would be assembling in the maintenance shed of It’s a Small World After All and a headcount would be taken. Christa was behind us in the group, whining to her dad, who held her on his hip. Turns out her brother was in a wheelchair and he had some kind of mental disorder. Inside, I saw he had a Goofy cap on and a shaved ice in his wheelchair’s cupholder. He was having a blast. Like, what the hell, the lights are out, let’s have fun and eat a snow cone. The rest of us sat on the tile floor beside generators and wrench sets. “Bomb threat,” our guy was saying. “Very low level, but we don’t take chances.” A man asked, “Why no lights?” Our guy said, “Aaaactualleee, I’m not too sure on that. They wanted us out the door and with our groups.” “Thank you for helping us,” the man said. It was mostly quiet. Haley ended up behind me with her back against a statue of a squat, cartoony Dutch kid with a porcelain hand raised to indicate where the ride’s line started. I smelled sweat added to the room’s cotton candy-motor oil aroma.

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