"The world is not made of atoms. It is made of stories." - Muriel Ruykeser

The garden art of Django Mangalam.

Each week in the cooking classroom (don't ask me) of the Adult Learning Center, we students bring our stories to Jerry for hewing and polishing.  "Show me, don't tell me," he reminds us.  And my classmates show me the closet overflowing with their grown childrens' treasures, the dental chair occupied by a tiny stoic Navajo boy, the stars on the ceiling of Grand Central Station.  I fall into their stories.  I fall in love with their lives.

I struggle to bring my stories to life.  What I want to show you didn't really happen that way, but it is true.  My truth anyway.  I want you to see it, feel it, know it.  Metaphor: a map of words around the wordless shine of the spirit.  Too often I veer into swamps of abstraction and generalization; and for good reason.  When I frame well, the landscape seems outlandish even to me. I fear you will think me a crackpot.  Please forbear.  I show you, not photographs of where I've been, rather impressionist paintings that convey that shine.
First posted: Nov 3, 2015

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