Eight years ago today my father died.
It’s always tough, but with each anniversary my sense of loss has changed. The other night I looked at his picture and cried, but the heartache, vast for a moment, passed.
I remember pushing my toy chest into his room as a child. I’d sell him a stuffed animal or Matchbox car and he’d pay me in hugs. The chest was heavy and the wheels were thin, but I forged ahead.
My father, I like to think, is asleep behind a series of doors in the middle of an endless hallway. Perhaps one day he’ll wake from a dream to find I’ve arrived, and recognize the child in me.
I wasn’t happy with my original Page Not Found post from May 7, so I refreshed it and deleted the old one.
Books are self-contained bodies of knowledge. Readers searching for deeper connections are free to scan their references and head to the library for more books. This is the tradition of scholarship.
The Internet is a sprawling, image-saturated map with no territory. It leads users on an open-ended quest for pseudoscience, celebrity gossip and mounting piles of pornographic truths.
Books are heavy. The Web is far more mobile.
There are apps today for everything, including one that tests kids’ “logo literacy.” Parts of logos are missing but enough remains for players to recognize the company. This is about purchasing power, and the production of future consumers. Knowledge means finding the best deals before the Joneses pull up in their minivans.
Reading entails patience, context and attention to nuance. Its pleasure is often deferred. Googling is the drive for immediacy, “just the facts.” It’s a data game rigged by clever search engine optimizers in which sources link but nothing clicks.
Consumerist culture is raising a generation of browsers with no history but the accumulation of cache. Few can sit still long enough to digest the news.
We meet one day after
a long Chicago winter
in the rush of Union Station.
She finds me as I am,
nervous at a corner table
practicing my first impression.
I shake her hand, enjoy
the way words escape me.
We discuss our travels,
how we reached this point.
I get a sense of
where she’s coming from.
Some folks chat but never meet,
she says, lamenting the
difference between profiles
and how you actually appear.
We speak of childhood,
French philosophy, Freud’s
interpretation of dreams.
She asks about my poetry.
I share theories, outline
methods, draft revisions,
wondering what she’ll
make of these lines.
c b snoad