Thursday, December 26, 2013

Boxing Day

December 26-

Verlyn Klinkenborg has written his last installment of The Rural Life, his occasional series for the editorial page of the New York Times.

I feel unexpectedly devastated- I didn't read every installment of Klinkenborg's series, but I savored many, and I especially enjoyed the oddity of the column's placement.  Verlyn's columns were about nothing -or rather, the slow accretion of nothing that compresses, under the weight of observation, into a flint-hard, sedimentary something.  

Year in and year out, his quiet words lay cheek to jowl with statements on Israel, or capital punishment, or the minimum wage, or the inefficacy of congress.  For 16 years, they were a fulcrum, a point of stillness in the frenzied swings of the 24-hour news cycle.  They were beautifully slow in an age of hurry.

I will miss them terribly.

But here:

"Perhaps the most important thing I learned... was to look up from my work in the sure knowledge that there was always something worth noticing and that there were nearly always words to suit it." 


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