Tuesday, March 24, 2009


between gift and present
there's a subtle difference
i feel but can't quite articulate.
Something akin to grace,
it seems to me,
is attached to a gift.

I received one in the mail
yesterday from some folks who
know me only through my blog,
my photographs, and a string of
emails that goes back
a couple of months.

my hyper-articulate friend J
says the best gifts are those
that show that someone knows you.

and by extension, i suppose,
approves of you.

so perhaps the greatest gifts
are pieces of yourself

one of the best gifts I ever received
was a pile of wooden coins from a
coffee house i used to frequent in
eugene, oregon in the 70s.
coffee was a quarter
but you could buy these coins
five for a dollar and exchange each for a cup.
i went there every morning
for the freshly roasted brew -
your choice of beans ground then and there.

g bought me a pile of those coins,
maybe five dollars worth,
and touched me to the core.

The package i received yesterday
was such a gift.

s and i had been emailing about
travel - AAA triptiks then and now -
what do you MEAN they use google maps???
and i recounted
(in a modest amount of excruciating detail, i see)
a cross country trip in the 70s
for which i wished i had kept the triptik.

you can see where this is going of course.

an old fashioned spiral bound triptik,
the route from NYC to San Francisco
highlighted in yellow - page after page
of my past, plus a map of the USA with
a yellow line across the middle arrived
in an innocent envelope and
completely floored me.

you guys.
thank you.


  1. "Can't quite articulate"? Ha! Your grace with words makes your blog read as though written in italic.
    ----- S

  2. What is there even to add? I believe you have hit the proverbial nail on the head! : )


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