On the leap year morning of February 29, 1953, Joseph Stalin struggled for breath at his dacha. He lifted his left hand, pointed menacingly, and Died
“What if … ?” gives us change, a departure from our lives. (What if aliens landed tomorrow and gave us everything we wanted, but at a price?)
“If only …” lets us explore the glories and dangers of tomorrow. (If only dogs could talk. If only I was invisible.)
“If this goes on…” is the most predictive of the three, although it doesn’t try to predict an actual future with all its messy confusion. Instead, “If this goes on…” fiction takes an element of life today, something clear and obvious and normally something troubling, and asks what would happen if that thing, that one thing, became bigger, became all-pervasive, changed the way we thought and behaved. (If this goes on, all communication everywhere will be through text messages or computers, and direct speech between two people, without a machine, will be outlawed.) When if not now?
Tom Bissell, Apostle: Travels Among the Tombs of the Twelve. Fun, engaging, and informative, worthy of the “best of the year non-fiction” list
Unlike me, my dad was a saint with a brilliant pair of carpenter's hands which created many lovely homes and weekenders especially around Zlate Moravce, Golden Moravce. Every house, challet, castle or church dad touched he converted into a soulful wooden shrine ... . To this day I can smell the wood shavings of different trees especially red cedar. Antipodean Wood Adorned ...
Texas’ Brazos River hits century high, Houston braces for floods Reuters
Stories of the river were told across the city. There wasn’t a child living within reach of the water who hadn’t grown up warned away from it with tales of dead trees lurking in the darkness of the muddy riverbed, ready to snatch the leg of a boy or girl braving its filthy waters. Rusting skull and crossbones signs, hammered into tree trunks around the old swimming holes, warned of infection. There were also the horror stories of children who disappeared on sunny afternoons never to be seen again, leaving piles of clothing behind on the riverbank, waiting for a parent or the police to discover the telling evidence. It wasn’t only children who drowned. As well as the suicides there were the accidents. People fishing fell out of boats from time to time and went straight down to the bottom, weighed down by heavy clothes and boots. A dark joke claimed that drowning was a more fortunate end, as eating a fish caught in the river would cause a slower and more painful death. (Ghost River by Tony Birch)
*TombStone Is Not Cold
I think about myself as dust in the wind, and I’m going to be here just for a hot second — that’s about it. When you think about the vastness of the universe in which we dwell, we are dust in the wind — and yet we are here River of Shadows