Showing posts from July, 2011


I know a beacon when I see one. Who doesn't? They're the sun-bright people doing big things in the world. They beam their light into dark corners and lead others to safe places. Beacons transform the world despite improbable odds. They inspire, and people are drawn to them like moths to...well, a big bright light.
Most beacons think nothing of their solar qualities. They are who they are. They'll do what needs to be done in the ways they're most comfortable doing things - which is big, bold, inspiring. I think they succeed, at least in part, because the gods love those big daring stories as much as we do. (And maybe Fortuna is fond of flashy lights. Seen Vegas?) Beacons exist at all levels of recognition, of course. You don't have to be internationally known or even a local celebrity to be one. We can all probably think of someone we know personally who fits the bill. It seems to be a collection of personality traits or mode of behavior more than anythi…

And another thing...

Just thought I'd add this bit that's been floating around in the back of my brain lately as I watch all kinds of people struggling to find themselves, catching bits of truth while other pieces drift away:
We're all lost, and we don't ever really get unlost. We can all just hope to do a little good on our quest for those clues. A happy person is the one who's OK with being adrift.

As Yet Unfinished

Somewhere in my early teens, I suddenly came to the realization that I had quite a few stories to tell and not so much time to do it in. I had always been writing and had always followed creative sparks in other arts wherever they lit up my imagination, but this moment was my epiphany. Moment is the appropriate word, too, because it was that sudden. One minute I was more or less typically shortsighted as other kids my age, and the next, the sky opened up and dropped a sense of mortality on my head. There was no apparent impetus for the revelation, no sudden winking out of a young life that presaged the thought. All at once, I just knew, and it seemed like the knowledge had been lurking in the dark corners of my mind all my life, that there was somewhere I was supposed to be and I was running out of time to get there. Some people might classify it "a calling," and I suppose it could be, but to me it's always been this weird little thing that happened to me when I wa…


I think that we handled the recent power outage fairly well, but it held a series of lessons nonetheless.
The storm swept through northern Illinois suddenly on Monday morning, knocking down trees and telephone poles, tearing off shingles and scattering anything that wasn't nailed down. It blew through quickly enough and left us with clear skies for most of the day, but the damage had knocked out power in a wide area including my entire town and most of its neighbors. I saw work crews on the streets just minutes after the worst of the storm as I drove cautiously to the library, dodging debris from the size of small branches to whole trees. Still, our power wasn't restored until Wednesday night.
LESSON 1: Mother Nature is still The Boss.
The library where I work was one of the rare establishments unaffected by the downed power lines. Our piece of the grid was still functioning while houses directly across the street were dark until late Tuesday night, and many businesses in …