This whitetail deer hair and the autumn leaves are natural objects, found in the woods yesterday, wrapped in paper and removed to the interior of a house, where they seem to float upon a glass-topped table through which a blue carpet can be seen. 

I did this solely because I like the way these ephemeral objects look in this manipulated arrangement. They are still connected with the natural world, because I know something of their history and it has become part of my consciousness where it will connect and merge in myriad ways with other found objects and memories.

I know just the place in the woods where I saw the small clump of deer hair. It looked as though it had been severed as neatly as two inches of hair from salon scissors. My husband, a lifelong woodsman, took one look and said, "Bucks fighting." And the leaves. I caught the leaves in my hands as they were swirling toward the ground yesterday. This morning, the gravel road from house to gate is covered in the dew-dampened swirl.

Our collected experiences and memories lay upon a table made of imagination and longing, where we pick them up and build worlds from words.

Brevity Magazine published my story, Tenderness, in Brevity 29, which came out in January, 2009.  Another story (a fine one) in that issue of Brevity was written by Tim Elhajj. It is called Jimi Don't Play Here No More. Since then, Tim's story, "As a Father, I was Hardly Fit," was published in Modern Love section of The New York Times, and he now has a book contract for his memoir.

Tim and his wife, children's book writer Holly Huckeba, have started a labor of love together, an online journal called Junk, a literary fix. I hope you will consider submitting to them. I am pleased to have a story in their inaugural issue. It's called Detritus. I should add that credit for the name goes to Holly.

By the way, the September, 2010 issue of Brevity has a wonderful story, Comfort Food, by author, friend and editorial mentor Lisa Ohlen Harris. I am currently immersed in reading her recently published book, Through the Veil, a memoir-in-essays about her time living in the Middle East.


2 thoughts on “Detritus

  1. That photo still life is gorgeous. And what a wealth of creativity you appear to be — I can’t wait to read your essay and so look forward to looking at Junk. Congratulations to you!


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