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Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Fellow Traveler. By John von Daler

                          Extra policemen direct the traffic at 9:30 am in #Tulsa. It is church time. Our family of four, encased in a glass and steel cubicle filled with smoke, roll into a parking lot. We get out of the swept-back Buick, pat down our clothes and head for the huge Gothic church. Bells are ringing and hundreds of people in their best clothes hurry towards the same broad steps.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

#Funen, morning. By John von Daler

                  You hear it in your sleep at four or five in the morning. The summerhouse has been quiet for some hours. Whatever marital quarrels or erotic shenanigans that sounded through the walls in the night have been laid to rest hours ago.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Duplicity. By John von Daler

                        "Arrre you speakeeeng Eeeenglish?" asks the voice behind the long number visible on my digital telephone screen.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Half-Way Man. By John von Daler

                      It all started with a steady regimen of study, every evening at the Firestone Library in Princeton until 10 p.m. Then a walk down Nassau Street past the movie theater. One evening he saw the ticket lady leave her cage with an overcoat on. She just locked the side door and went home.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Kitchen Epiphany. By John von Daler

                    Do the paths of Art and Life ever cross? I asked myself. Thank God, no! Hardly ever! (Except for now...)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Silken and Fleeting. By John von Daler

                 The day starts like so many others in Tulsa: not a cloud in the sky, it is already warm at 8 a.m. I walk to school down the gently curving lanes from the top of the hill where we live. The lawns are green and well-kept, but underneath the grass the red earth draws down whatever moisture there is and turns it into clay. The fresh morning air only barely conceals the threat of dust and draught that could follow at midday.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cultivate your Garden. By John von Daler

                        In my building we are not really allowed to have indoor gardens, but in all secrecy I have planted a few rows of Similies in some hand-written literary mulch. What I am hoping for are some full-fledged Metaphors one of these days and then perhaps I can transplant them to a story or two. A few might even become symbols.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Noncommittal. By John von Daler

                  These Danes sure do listen a lot to Bob Dylan, I thought. I could hear the plaintive whine through several closed windows and across a courtyard in my little cubby hole on the second floor of a mansion in one of the rich suburbs of Copenhagen. I paid for a room and access to two burners in the hallway where my next-door neighbor and I were allowed to cook food that did not emit odors. In practice this meant that I ate a lot of stuff that you boil in plastic bags.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Change of Blog Schedule

Change in scheduling: My blog will be published from now on three days a week, tuesday, thursday and saturday at 4 p.m. (Central European Time) The other four days will be used to promote my book, "Pieces: A Life in Eight Movements and a Prelude" from WiDo Publishing  (click on the "click here to buy" sign at the top of the blog or order from your bookstore). I might even play a little with my grandchildren, too. Thanks! John von Daler              

Saturday, February 8, 2014

In passing. By John von Daler

                         The mouse felt the warmth from the pantry through the open door. It scurried through from the garage and found a hiding place behind the quietly purring freezer.

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Weaver. By John von Daler

                        Nothing ever begins at the beginning. From the free fall of our lives we see passing phenomena fly by with such speed that we must invent artificial stops and starts to make sense of even the smallest part. In the eternal sky of our history we maneuver our flying carpets in patterns of our own making, based on our untethered logic, fastened only precariously to the edges of our minds.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cyber-Staring. By John von Daler

               Follow the bouncing ball! the text on the screen used to suggest at the movies in the good old days. Then you could sing along to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" or "Camptown Races" or "Oklahoma" (my favorite) if you fastened your eyes on the little, mechanical sphere. My tiny, out of tune voice usually joined the other viewers in song.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Guile and Gullibility. By John von Daler

                  We were in Greenland making a recording of some songs written to be played on a new cd by three Greenlanders and three Danes. I had written a song about the national bird of greenland, the Raven. The Inuits have a beautiful and quirky legend about their favorite bird that fascinates me.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Fitting in. By John von Daler

                       They pick me up at the station in Connecticut, the part populated with people who work in New York and have an apartment there that they use four days a week. The other three days they live here. It's too far away to waste time commuting.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Lines on lines. By John von Daler

                  It starts with the lassos. Throwing them ahead in time, trying just for a second to reel in a new age, an ability, an experience. The wish to capture and hold on to the future catches hold of you: you wanting to be four when you are two, ten when you are eight, sixteen when twelve. You cannot wait to grow older.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

#Updike Revisited. By John von Daler

                        John Updike unfortunately no longer is with us here on earth. I read quite many of the books he wrote. My favorites were the story anthologies, filled with small, subtle descriptions of the crossroads in people's lives where trifling events meet and enhance each other.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)