In this time of sheltering, I was just going to write about my shelter within our shelter, but Stephen did it better. Enjoy.

stephen metcalfe

In my house, my place of escape, refuge, privacy, contemplation and uninterrupted reading is on the toilet.  When the going gets tough, the tough get going and I go to the bathroom.

Excuse me, I’ll say!  I have to go sit for a while!

How can anyone object?

I keep piles of books, periodicals and extra pairs of reading glasses in the bathroom.   Better not to be caught unprepared and have to go back out.   I like magazine articles and short stories.  Both time out well.  Novels are too long and so would increase the risk of hemorrhoids.   Poems aren’t nearly long enough and besides, I’d rather not fall asleep with my pants around my ankles.

Cell phones are barred.   To make phone calls to other people from the toilet seems oddly disrespectful – unless they’re movie agents – and not having a cell phone allows you to not answer…

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On Hope

During a pandemic, my bullshit doesn’t always fit. So I found something more profound to steal and put here instead. Thanks for the words of Hope , Stephen.

stephen metcalfe

I wrote this about fifteen years ago but the idea that we be there for one another, that we provide hope, seems even more timely now.


As I’ve gotten older I’ve had a harder and harder time with the concept of hope.    Read too much.  Too many newspapers.  Too much internet. Too many news programs.   It’s a tough world out there.   I hope things will work out but I’m not surprised when they don’t.  I hope for the best but I prepare for the worst.  Because hope is not expectation.  Hope contains a small element of doubt.  Just hoping.  And hope and faith are not the same thing.  Faith suggests confidence and assurance.   Yes, it will all work out in the end!   Even if it doesn’t.  Hope, on the other hand, suggests that the best is not a given, that there is a need for outside intervention and if…

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