I write flash fiction, non-fiction, short fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a work in progress.
Nature abhors straight lines. Humans worship straight lines. We embed them in our roads, our buildings, our lives. Recently, I chanced upon the shadows of a maple tree as it cast its crooked cartography across the pre-fab, straight-edged, exterior wall of an angulate, downtown building. Even in the compressed light of a January afternoon, reality shone brightly. The tree was broken, jagged, very much in need of order, but very much alive. The building, on the other hand, was crisply engineered – paneled, aggregate rectangle upon paneled, aggregate rectangle and, of course, entirely dead. Why do we strive to produce the dead and not the living? Why don’t we embrace the crooked, the unbalanced, the unexplainable things in our lives, the things that brush up against us on the street, whisper in our ears, knock on our doors in the early morning moonlight?
There are no straight lines in great love, great empathy or great art, nor, I suspect, in a great life.