The Aging Atlas

The images of the Titan, Atlas, holding a celestial sphere on his shoulders reflect a muscular man whom we envision easily carrying any burden laid upon him. We strive to emulate that Titan, carrying the weight of building a career and caring for a family. In the process, we stress ourselves to the max, resulting in insomnia and anxiety, turning to Prozac and other remedies to aid in our journeys.             What impact will these efforts have on our bodies? The Atlas of myth remains strong, eternally steadfast in the judgment meted out to him by Zeus for his rebellion. Humans, however, are not as stalwart. On my daily walks, I observe people of all ages. The young mother running as she pushes her baby...

Talking Makes My Hands Move

Actually, talking doesn’t affect my hands, but I can’t say the same for lots of other people. I recently passed a woman talking on her cell phone as she ambled down the street, one hand holding her phone, the other gesticulating wildly through the air.             I think of using hands in a conversation to emphasize a point, to clarify the importance of something to the listener. But with no listener present, what can gestures accomplish? Do they help the speaker speak? Do they help the speaker think? Do they calm or quicken the emotions the speaker is trying to convey? Is the speaker, unbeknownst to the listener, using sign language to add to his message?  There must be a switch in the...

New Life

Alive and moving inside my daughter’s body, my new grandchild is simply waiting to make her debut. She’s a miracle, the very best kind.              “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” –Psalm 139:13-16 NIV             I press my hand to Jen’s full-term belly and...

Dropping Like Flies

At age fifty, I decided sixty was my limit. Why grow old and face a decaying body if you can die young? Reason enough to jump out of an airplane just before the big 6-0. But wouldn’t you know it—I survived. Now, I’m coming up on seventy. Yes, my body is deteriorating, but it’s more about the deaths happening around me that make me consider my mortality, the loss of people within the periphery of my life. Landy, age 40; JC, age 98; Gary, age 75; Tim, age 49; Geneva, age 88. They’re dropping like flies, life expectancy not always a predictor of longevity. Of course, there’s no comparison to the tremendous loss of life in war zones around the world. But these deaths, all within a few weeks, impact me personally, making me aware that life is, indeed, fleeting. Why, I...

On the Fence

One of my stories is up again at storyhouse.org https://www.storyhouse.org/karenc3.html

Where’s the Bacon?

When I ordered the “Big Beef Bacon Cheese Melt” from the menu at a local café, I assumed I was in for a big juicy burger topped with cheese and crispy bacon. Was I ever wrong. There wasn’t a burger at all—just thin strips of beef along with the cheese and tomato. Beef bacon. Whoever heard of such? I admit the abomination called turkey bacon has been around a good while. But everyone knows it’s not legitimate bacon. Bacon comes from a pig, folks. And when properly cooked, it’s thin, crispy, and oh so yummy. That turkey stuff should just be called turkey strips because that’s really all it is. But beef bacon? It was tough, hard to bite through, and had random strings of fat that weren’t crispy at all. Never in a million years could it be called bacon. You can be...

Oh, Deer

I recorded a Field Note that was aired on Montana Public Radio. Here’s the link: Oh, Deer