• Rained gently last night, just enough to wash the town clean, and then today a clean crisp fat spring day, the air redolent, the kind of green minty succulent air you'd bottle if you could and snort greedily on bleak, wet January evenings when the streetlights hzzzt on at four in the afternoon and all existence seems hopeless and sad

    Brian Doyle
  • Did I ever tell you about Asin? She is the wild woman of the woods. It's an old story of the People. My mom used to tell me about Asin. Asin couldn't bear being married or having children or having friends. She always wanted to run wild. She ran wild through the woods. If you saw her running you had to run to water as fast as you could and drink or her restlessness would come into you like a thirst that could never be quenched. She was happy and unhappy. She had wild long hair and she was very tall and she ran like the wind. When you saw dunegrass rippling in a line she was running through it. When the wind changed direction suddenly that was Asin. She was never satisfied or content and so she ran and ran and ran. She would grab men who were fishing alone and make love to them and then throw them down on the ground and run away weeping. She would grab children who wandered too far alone in the woods but she would return them to the same spot after three days and run away again. She would listen to women talking by the fire or working in the village or gathering berries but if they invited her to join them she ran away. You could hear her crying sometimes when the sun went down. She wanted something but she never knew what it was so she had nothing. She was as free as anyone ever could be and she was trapped. When I was young I wanted to be Asin. Many times I wanted to be Asin. So do you, Nora. I know. It's okay. It's alright. My sweet love. Poor Asin. Sometimes I think to be Asin would be the saddest thing in the world. Poor thing

    Brian Doyle
  • We are the rocks and reefs of the human sea, tumultuous outcrops, magnets for wrecks. The peaks of mountains you cannot see: that's us, all right. Dark even on the brightest day. Stony and defiant of the prevailing currents until we are eventually worn down and dissolved. Sometimes soaked and sometimes dry as a bone. Hammered by tides and grimly standing our ground against the pounding. Probably even secretly enjoying the pounding

    Brian Doyle
  • Maturity turns out to be a question you can never answer with confidence, despite advanced age and wage

    Brian Doyle
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