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March 25, 2021

from “In the Waters,” by Jeri Ann Griffith, Still Point Arts Quarterly, Spring 2021: My Deep Love of Place

I was no longer a child when I began to dream I could play the violin without having had any study or training. In the dream, I pick up the instrument and bow my way through a classical passage or a waltz. In the dream world, this is as easy as opening my mouth to sing. I can’t play the violin, and I don’t know what the dream means. Maybe that’s the point. It’s not necessary to understand the dream in any literal way. It’s only important to feel the mystery of its potential.

—Jeri Ann Griffith, “In the Waters,” Still Point Arts Quarterly, Spring 2021: My Deep Love of Place

March 16, 2021

from “Red Dust Suspended,” Still Point Arts Quarterly, Spring 2021

The first time I saw New Mexico, before I owned a cell phone or computer, I wrote a story about a woman who walked through the desert as the wind peeled the flesh from her bones. Her bones turned to dust and blew away. I meant it as a story of transmutation, dust returning to dust. That story foretold my own, how once in my lifetime a place grabbed hold of my soul. But it was never my land to own. I could only borrow it for an infinitesimal speck of time.

—Suzanne Finney, “Red Dust Suspended,” Still Point Arts Quarterly, Num. 41, Spring 2021

March 11, 2021

Now, in our own global pandemic, I consider how easily our familiar institutions can be disrupted and our sense of continuity shaken to the core. Yet everything on the Outer Cape is in a state of perpetual and reassuring impermanence; nothing ever stays quite the same. All you can do is be vividly awake to the living continuum.

—William Bless, “Outer Shores,” Still Point Arts Quarterly, Num. 41, Spring 2021

image credit: m01229, Cape Cod National Seashore, 2014. Wikimedia Commons 

March 4, 2021

from “The Power of Belief,” Fires of Heaven, by James B. Nicola

You know beliefs are “myths more true than fact,”
but some believe that what they believe’s exactly
true, and even murder is no sin
but their responsibility when in 
the presence of the devil, which is you,
no matter that you know it isn't true.

In any time zone, any latitude
where people have endured, the attitude 
endures. The ecumenical is not
welcomed, nor an elucidating thought
allowed. In my experience the danger
is most acute wherever you're the stranger.

—James B. Nicola, from “The Power of Belief,” Fires of Heaven