Thinking has always been described as a conscious effort. Artist Henri Cartier-Bresson called thinking a “decisive moment” of consciousness, but in reality thin-slicing is an unconscious behavior. Similarly, photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt referred to a direct connection between his eye and his shutter finger, bypassing his brain, which was critical for many of his most celebrated images.

-Wikipedia entry on “Thin-slicing” (Miscellaeous)



On the island where I was a child
nearly everyone was retired, their fortunes

already made. Death was around them
the way water was around our streets.

They taught me how to go fishing
without catching fish; the tide’s breath

was marked in notebooks they kept
beneath their pillows. One old lady

fed me chocolates from a tin
until my teeth were stained by greed.

The old do things slowly so I grew used
to grocery store lines

that did not move, cars that stopped
in the middle of the road. One man spent

a whole day helping me bury a squirrel;
we wrote odes and dirges

to the way it once hurried and planned.



Faith Shearin

The Eagle and the Raven

I love this from college.  We spent about three hours on it one afternoon:

An Eagle, flying down from his perch on a lofty rock, seized upon a lamb and carried him aloft in his talons.

A Raven, who witnessed the capture of the lamb, was stirred with envy and determined to emulate the strength and flight of the Eagle. He flew around with a great whir of his wings and settled upon a large ram, with the intention of carrying him off, but his claws became entangled in the ram’s fleece and he was not able to release himself, although he fluttered with his feathers as much as he could.

The shepherd, seeing what had happened, ran up and caught him. He at once clipped the Raven’s wings, and taking him home at night, gave him to his children.

On their saying,

“Father, what kind of bird is it?’

he replied,

“To my certain knowledge he is a Raven; but he would like you to think an Eagle.”


I lost my dad four years ago.  He was an exceptional teacher, a really good man, and one of my closest friends.  I have the annoying habit of playing DJ around friends and family.  Even during his last weeks of hospice, I put together little mixes of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, JJ Johnson and Kai Winding.  This spiritual reminds me of singing in choirs at Interlochen, but I also love the metaphor of campground.  Some place at home away from home. Some place you carry with you. Some place along the river of time where you stopped with the best people.  Some place perhaps more permanent than the brick you live in today.


“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”—E.L. Doctorow