I liked a sentence from John Steinbeck’s novel East of Eden. Let me set it up for you. As the narrator looks out at the Salinas River, he takes note of the gentle rain falling to the Earth as well as a rabbit whose “nose crinkled” and whose “ears slewed around now and then, investigating small sounds that might possibly be charged with danger.” But then the narrator observes two boys in the distance, and here’s how he describes them: “They were dressed in overalls and faded blue shirts, but each boy wore one perfect turkey tailfeather tied with tape against his temple.”
I thought to myself: How did Steinbeck come up with that? What a great sentence!
I liked Mary Oliver’s poem, “Coyote in the Dark, Coyotes Remembered.”
The darkest thing
met me in the dark.
It was only a face
and a brace of teeth
that held no words,
though I felt a salty breath
sighing in my direction.
Once, in an autumn that is long gone,
I was down on my knees
in the cranberry bog
and heard, in that lonely place,
two voices coming down the hill,
and I was thrilled
to be granted this secret,
that the coyotes, walking together
can talk together,
for I thought, what else could it be?
And even though what emerged
were two young women, two-legged for sure
and not at all aware of me,
their nimble, young women tongues
telling and answering,
and though I knew
I had believed something probably not true,
yet it was wonderful
to have believed it.
And it has stayed with me
as a present once given is forever given.
Easy and happy they sounded,
those two maidens of the wilderness
from which we have–
who knows to what furious, pitiful extent–
I liked, and would answer yes, to Ashley Hales’s thought in her book A Spacious Life: Trading Hustle and Hurry for the Goodness of Limits, regarding peoples’ habits on social media:
I wonder if the lobbing of intellectual grenades, the picking apart of people by virtual strangers on the internet, are often just misdirected hungry cries of the child: “See me, notice me, know me, love me” (27).