Friday, November 8, 2019

‘I read my books with diligence, and mounting skill, and gathering certainty. I read the way a person might swim, to save his or her life.’
                               ― Mary Oliver, Upstream: Selected Essays

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Now that the shoulder has been healing (at least six more months of physical therapy though) I can use both arms to hold the sign. For weeks I used just my right arm, my left arm limply hanging straight down. There was a Native American kid in my grade school in the 1950s who had an arm that was limp and hung at his side. You noticed it always. I was self-conscious about mine. Now I feel normal again, at least on that piece of the sidewalk on Chambers Street. I look forward to going back there tomorrow. I never don’t look forward to it.

Monday, November 4, 2019

I don’t comment on every day I’m there on Chambers Street with my sign that’s getting a bit ragged and will soon be replaced. Today was beautifully clear and a bit cold. I needed gloves for the first time this fall. The guy who goes by on an electric skate board had his knit cap pulled down over his ears. Kids on their way to pre-school were bundled up and had brand new colorful hats on. A few were on little Razor scooters. Some were with moms or dads; some were with nannies. Some adults who go by the sign can’t read it. Older Asian grandmothers can’t. Others too though, some American-born adults can’t. You wonder why the schools they were in let them get out with such limited literacy. Laws most places make you go to school for 10 years. Till you’re 16. You wonder what the schools were doing with those adults when they were young. For 10 years.