Autumn Begins in Martin’s Ferry, Ohio

Growing up in my own small Ohio town I hated football, people who loved football, and especially my peers who played football. I had disdain for their working class families. I mocked my stupid, small town and how backwards I thought it was. I knew I was better than them. I knew my family was ‘above’ certain professions and lifestyles and that my future family would be above them too. I knew that I was too good for such a ‘podunk’ town and it’s inhabitants.

I’m a little bit older now. I’m still not a fan of the game of football, but I’ve planted my own roots in a smaller town than the one I grew up in. Even though I love walking through the city and the life it buzzes with, I wouldn’t trade the rhythms of small down life for it. I have a family of my own now and I can relate to the feeling (shame? guilt?) that your wife and children are worthy of something more than you seem capable of mustering up most days. I’ve found out that being a cubicle slave isn’t more glamorous or more important than swinging a hammer (and I often wish I was doing something manual, making something physical with my hands).

Anyway, this poem repaints my arrogant youthful memories in a more humble color. (and it almost makes me want to go to a high school football game……almost. 😉

Autumn Begins In Martins Ferry, Ohio
James Wright

In the Shreve High football stadium,
I think of Polacks nurshing long beers in Tiltonsville,
And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace in Benwood,
and the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel,
Dreaming of heroes

All the proud fathers are ashamed to go home.
Their women cluck like starved pullets,
Dying for love.

Their sons grow suicidally beautiful
At the beginning of October,
And gallop terribly against each other’s bodies.

Books I’ve Read This Year (Part 2)

Here’s part two of the list of books I read or re-read so far this year

  1. Letters From A Skeptic by Greg Boyd
  2. Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
  3. Silence by Shusako Endo
  4. The Myth of a Christian Nation by Greg Boyd
  5. Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey
  6. When Will My Life Not Suck by Ramon Presson
  7. The Sacredness of Questioning Everything by David Dark
  8. Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer (re-read)
  9. The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho

The standout of this list is hands down The Sacredness of Questioning Everything by David Dark. I wish had found this book two or three years ago. Very, very, very powerful (i.e. dangerous). I highly recommend it.

Books I’ve Read This Year (Part 1)

At the beginning of this year I joined the Empty Shelf Challenge which was nothing more than a way to brag about how many books you read. Who doesn’t love bragging and a great side effect is that you read more too. Anyway, what’s the purpose of a blog if not hubris?So here’s part one of the list of books I’ve read (or re-read) so far this year

  1. The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy (re-read)
  2. Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy (re-read)
  3. The Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy
  4. The Walking Dead Compendium One by Robert Kirkman
  5. The Walking Dead Compendium Two by Robert Kirkman
  6. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
  7. Love Wins by Rob Bell
  8. What We Talk About When We Talk about God by Rob Bell

I started this list revisiting my long standing love for Cormac McCarthy and end it with a new found love for Rob Bell. (Seriously read both of those books ASAP!)




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Our yard was filled with bees last weekend! It was really exciting because even though our backyard is mostly clover we’ve hardly seen nary a bee in years. They were everywhere on Saturday though, so hopefully that’s good news for the bee populations in our area!