My son is handsome, in love, and has connected our family to his wife’s. Our trip to the Wisconsin Dells and back in a rented blue Dodge Charger went well. I didn’t stumble in heels or while reading. We returned home to the devastating news that one of our closest veteran friends succumbed to his fight against Agent Orange. The funeral is Friday, outside at one of our remote Keweenaw cemeteries. Somehow, I thought I’d return from the wedding nuptials on a cloud and this term’s MFA finals would be a breeze. Life, and death, intervene, and we do our best to straddle the road. I’m asking the literary community to offer me a week of grace as my mind and heart are thick this week.
Please note I’ve extended the August 13: Flash Fiction Challenge to August 25. If you have already submitted, you can leave an offering in the comments — a 99-word story to celebrate life. I won’t collect those but will appreciate the expressions. The First Flight collection will publish on August 26, a week delayed. In the meantime, please read Susan Spitulnik’s column this week, Veteran Voices, as she profiles veteran identities. Also, catch up with Susan Zutautas at D. Avery’s Saddle Up Saloon and join the discussion about writer’s block. Friday, Carrot Ranch will host frequent flash fiction Rough Writer and author, Pete Fanning.
You have all listened to me carry on about MOG dresses and toenails and COVID-hair, so I thought you might enjoy a look at the wedding photos by the incredibly talented and hard-working Caynay Photography which, cheerfully, are not about me! That’s the thing about weddings — the focus is on the couple. Looking like we fit into their carefully sculpted landscape was vital, and the Hub and I did our parts. I was honored to read Song of Songs and from Paul’s Letter to Corinthians about love. I find these comforting words for the impending funeral this week as another bride lays her hero to rest.
Brothers and sisters:
Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.
But I shall show you a still more excellent way.
If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
~ A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 12:31–13:8a, the word of the Lord.
In the beginning and in the end, let there be love.