Leaves and Gulls

Cover of Planet of the Blind....man and dog....

I can’t tell you how to live or what to do. That’s freedom. Beware those who imagine otherwise.

One should especially be wary of those who would monetize telling you what to do.

**

“I’d like to have dinner with Emily Dickinson,” says a poet. Another says “Walt Whitman,” and so forth. I’ve always wanted to spend an evening with Thomas Paine. How could you not enjoy conversing with this man?

“To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.”

**

Then there’s Christopher Hitchens:

“If I search my own life for instances of good or fine behavior I am not overwhelmed by an excess of choice.”

**

“… Civil society means that free expression trumps the emotions of anyone to whom free expression might be inconvenient.” (Hitchens also.)

Curses on the left and the right for canceling the inconvenient.

**

I’ve this blog about disability, about poetry, politics, really an exophthalmic notebook and lately I haven’t been writing much. I’m chilled. I’m walking around and absolutely chilled.

**

You see, the church of my childhood asks “what does God demand of you now?” As a boy, a blind kid, the question terrified me. Sometimes I hid in the closet where my parents hung the winter coats in portmanteaus. I pushed into the back.

**

The world wasn’t friendly. God was impatient. And yes it was cold in that closet. My childhood house still stands. I haven’t been there in years. But you see where I’m going—every locale is again that place, potentially, maybe because of an ideo-motor effect, a trance in my backbone, a tip of the head. It doesn’t matter. William James would tell us it’s always cold in there—in vertebrae, among the moth balls.

**

Final aria:

When I was four I ran away from my parents and got happily lost in Helsinki.

I lived on a constantly turning electrostatic wheel of inventions.

I loved Kaivopuisto Park and chased leaves even though I couldn’t see them.

I was high above the Baltic among leaves and gulls.

Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

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