From The Editor: For the immediate future, Weekly Hubris is featuring one of our long-time columnists each Monday and, this week, it is Anita Sullivan’s chance to speak in (or out) of turn in one new essay, and two from the recent past (though Anita seldom tethers herself in time and space as so many of us perceive those states). Anita says, “I was read to; I read; I wrote. At an early age I grabbed hold of a yellow No. 2 pencil and started scribbling down my own versions of the fireworks that went off in my head when my parents read to me. Even today, the knuckle on the middle finger of my left hand (I’m left-handed) is slightly enlarged from all those years of being rubbed by the side of a pencil. Later, I took up dancing, became a keeper of butterflies, and actually did useful work in the world. But I am grateful to my parents and to just plain luck, that I was admitted early to the ‘eighth climate’ of the imagination, and allowed to cultivate and cherish its vital secrets. I no longer have to unlatch the screen and jump out the window of my (ground-floor) bedroom in order to sneak off and write stories in the shade of the chicken-coop roof—now I sit at a screen and go tap-tap-tap like other writers, while looking out my diamond-shaped window at the fences and houses and trees.”—E.B.-H.
The Highest Cauldron
“Yonder Windows” By Anita Sullivan
EUGENE Oregon—(Weekly Hubris)—1/26/2015—This is the winter of waiting for my house to sell. While I’m waiting, I can’t do very much else except pace the floor, look out the windows, make soup, change the water in the birdbath. Almost everything else requires spending money, which I don’t have until my house sells. It’s all circular reasoning. (Read more . . .)
The Highest Cauldron “Why Can’t They Just Share?—Hummingbirds in the Garden (Again)” By Anita Sullivan
EUGENE Oregon—(Weekly Hubris)—1/26/2015—I didn’t plan it this way, but it turns out that my backyard garden has the exact number of flower blossoms in it to support one hummingbird: no more, no less. The configuration goes roughly like this: Moving from shade to sun, two bleeding heart bushes surrounded by salvia, give way to a large clump of bee balm, followed almost immediately by a thick stand of flaming red crocosmia. This is where the vegetable section begins and, most years, I accomplish the segue with a trellis of scarlet runner beans. (Read more . . .)
The Highest Cauldron
“On the Bus: Anecdote into Story (Retold)” By Anita Sullivan
EUGENE Oregon—(Weekly Hubris)—1/26/2015—During the past year, I’ve been riding the city bus a lot to keep from using the car. This puts me in touch with what you might call a representative swatch of the community. Mostly, I ride back and forth to the downtown library and its adjacent city-center grocery store (which has the best deli in town). (Read more . . .)
Skip the B.S.
“From Soot to Diamonds: The Search for Design” By Skip Eisiminger
CLEMSON South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris) —1/19/2015—I still hear my mother saying, “Skippa, please finish the mashed potatoes—I have to wash that bowl.”
“By whose order?” I mumbled through a mouthful of gravy and potatoes.
Seven decades later, when she was incapable of doing the dishes or the laundry, Dad, a retired colonel, took over and established a schedule, “On Tuesdays, I do the towels,” he wrote me. “On Saturdays, I do the sheets . . . .” (Read more . . .)
Skip the B.S.
“Black & White Zebras in Lion-Colored Grass: The Absurd (Redux)” By Skip Eisiminger
CLEMSON South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—1/19/2015—My friend Siggi once explained the origins of existential absurdity with a personal anecdote. When he was five, in February of 1945, he and his mother left their village and went to visit his grandparents in Dresden. On their first night in the eastern German city, it received its first and last fire bombing. Unknown to the two visitors, the air-raid shelters were filled with refugees from Poland and Ukraine. As random luck would have it, my friend and his mother then ran in unqualified terror to the middle of a soccer field and huddled there all night while the city and its treeful parks burned around them. Totally exposed, they were safe. Those who went to their basements died when the floors above collapsed. Those who sought shelter in The Church of Our Lady soon found every pew an incandescent filament. And those who jumped into the Elbe River discovered burning phosphorus floating toward the rocks where they had sought refuge. (Read more . . .)
Skip the B.S.
“Foxholes & Deathbeds: Agnosticism (Revisited)” By Skip Eisiminger
CLEMSON South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—1/19/2015—Greenville County recently installed a bronze plaque at County Square that reads, “In God we trust.” Before the dust settled inside council chambers, the executive director of the state’s ACLU chapter said she worried that atheists and Muslims might feel uncomfortable, presumably because these two place their trust in Reason and Allah, respectively. (Read more . . .)