Posts by John Blase

Do You See What I’m Doing?

I keep trying to put my father’s dying in a story. I guess I’ve thought that might help me, and possibly others, make some sense of this vale. A couple of weeks after the funeral, my son drove to my mother’s house to visit and spend the night. Mom went to bed early that evening,…

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Changes

Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant.   That’s how Joan Didion begins what I consider to be one of the truest treatments of grief—The Year of Magical Thinking. Prior to February 23, 2021, I bet I’d read Didion’s book ten times, at least. Why? Well, in addition to a book about death and…

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Fall Back

I waited for the argot of the grieving. Most of the initial talk carried on in tones of condolence—sincere attempts to ease the sting after the thief’s slap. Yet most of it kicks against the pricks.   But last night my widowed mother stood in the shadow of her father-stolen son, the two of us…

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Sacrilege

  Several authors and editors I respect counseled me not to write the book as quickly as I did; they urged me to wait two or three years and put some distance between me and the expedition in order to gain some crucial perspective. Their advice was sound, but in the end I ignored it……

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My Father Was A Sower

I don’t remember any of my father’s sermons. Lord knows I’ve tried. Yet what I vividly retain is his presence, and maybe that’s the better thing. For there are those who preach and the words ring wrong. But there are some whose words surrender to God’s alchemy so that their very flesh and bones become…

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The Color of Holy

Maybe if I lived there and walked’ past it each day and heard its timely bells it would fall into the realm of the familiar, a thing taken then for granted. Maybe. But I’d like to believe otherwise. Standing in the rafters of the Cathedral of Siena at dusk, I simultaneously felt a vertigo in…

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Beginnings

I am just now in the early autumn of my life, the green just now beginning to gray. Exactly seven days ago I sat with one of my oldest friends. We both agreed our give-a-shit is broke. It’s not that we don’t care, for we do, deeply. It’s that our to-care list has been culled.…

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Always With Us

The trouble with physical beauty isn’t with physical beauty. The trouble with physical beauty is with us. Past generations could name it but we’ve grown tongue-tied in our attempts to ensure everyone gets a participation trophy. But consider this. Let’s take, for example, a woman like Princess Kate Middleton. Now is she financially savvy, good…

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I Guess It’s Best To Pause

The ad above the urinal in the Toot’n Totum in Dalhart, Tx read JJ’s fruit pies, 2 for $2. To say there was dissonance in that moment would be understatement, so even though yes, a steal of a deal on fruit pies, no, no thanks. Yet as I drove away bladder happy I wondered if…

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