Tag Archives: personal

Dear Mother… I’m continuing

“I’m continuing to read Jacques Barzun’s “Teacher in America,” written in the forties. He has a lot to say about what education really consists of (a lifelong endeavor), and I imagine a lot of his ideas would be sympathetic to … Continue reading

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Shed Down by the River

From the street it’s nondescript: long and low, homely brickwork giving way to corrugated metal, no windows. Flat, pedestrian, a second-rate, seedy, industrial-looking structure on a humble side of town. Patio and doorways are on the opposite side facing inward … Continue reading

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Dear Mother… Charles

Charles gave me a copy of his “translation” of Arthur Rimbaud’s “Le bateau ivre” (The Drunken Boat). I put “translation” in quotes because Charles readily admits that his version derives from other English versions of the poem, since he doesn’t … Continue reading

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Dilettante, heal thyself

I’m curious about too many things, which is why I haven’t achieved distinction in anything. Consider this fascinating article in today’s NYTimes about perfumes: “The Difference Between Perfume, Cologne and Other Fragrances” by Tynan Sink. Here’s an overview, but read … Continue reading

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My father at the end

I helped him poop and pee; wiped him, washed him, lotioned him, shaved him, fed him, dispensed medicines, tugged his lanky six-foot-three frame back to semi-recumbent each time it slid down his bed. He was stoic, docile, acknowledging, laconic at … Continue reading

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Variation on a theme — for the daughters

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The egg came first. A hen is only an egg’s way of making another female. (Deference to Samuel Butler) (C) 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.

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I’ve had little training as a painter, but one tenet I’ve tried to honor is the one that says, “Choose a brush you think is too large, then start your painting with one size larger.” However, human likenesses are comprised … Continue reading

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