i’m a really good speller but lost my school spelling bee in 5th grade on the word ‘kiwi.’ small-town minnesota in the 80s was not a great time for getting fruit from the other side of the world, so my 10-year-old self had never seen a kiwi fruit, nor heard of the bird. i spelled it like it sounds: ‘k-e-e-w-e-e.’ the auditorium - filled with about half of my town - laughed. i felt shame, but i also knew i did the best i could.
my mom, bless her, got a kiwi fruit as soon as possible to show me what they were like.
i now live a world away, but it’s good to remember both how different things were only twenty years ago (you can now get all kinds of fairly exotic stuff any time of year in the little grocery stores in town), and how a childhood in a remote place offers particular kinds of lessons.
“My husband thoughtfully bought this mug for me as a Valentines/Birthday present. Had a friend of mine not given me a mug that had a picture of kittens romping playfully on it, it would definitely be my…
god i love amazon reviews. this person loves romping kittens AND has a ‘particular fear’ of the handles falling off mugs. wow.
There are all kinds of silences and each of them means a different thing. There is the silence that comes with morning in a forest, and this is different from the silence of a sleeping city. There is silence after a rainstorm, and before a rainstorm, and these are not the same. There is the silence of emptiness, the silence of fear, the silence of doubt. There is a certain silence that can emanate from a lifeless object as from a chair lately used, or from a piano with old dust upon its keys, or from anything that has answered to the need of a man, for pleasure or for work. This kind of silence can speak. Its voice may be melancholy, but it is not always so; for the chair may have been left by a laughing child or the last notes of the piano may have been raucous and gay. Whatever the mood or the circumstance, the essence of its quality may linger in the silence that follows. It is a soundless echo.