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Without pictures.

March 19, 2013

As I write this, it’s 72 degrees and mostly sunny at the FWA weather complex (my front window and There’s a very pleasant light breeze–just enough to make some of the tree branches bob and weave gently. The front window’s open and it feels good to breathe in late-winter Florida air.

In Albany, New York, it’s 19 degrees. There’s a new coating of snow on the ground and the sky is the clearest blue you could ever imagine. The sun is bright, its intensity multiplied by the coating of white that covers everything and makes it look new–and makes the warmth of indoor heat seem as important as the air it’s heating. It’s a day you don’t really understand unless you’ve been there and lived through it.

Then again, I’m a writer. It’s my job to make you understand what you haven’t lived through. If I do my job well, I should be able to make you feel the fear of a woman just entering labor for the first time, not knowing what it’ll feel like and wondering if she can with stand what her body’s about to go through–not to mention the responsibility that starts at the end of the process.

I should be able to make you feel the agony of someone who has just stood in the bitter cold and not felt it–because he was watching a chimney fire consume his house and every inanimate object inside it. I should be able to make you feel his heart break as he realizes the tools that were passed down from father to son for a century and a half–will stop at his generation.

I should be able to make you feel a volleyball player’s elation as she watches her serve clinch the state title for her team and all the work and sacrifice–all the times she wanted to kill her coach or her father for pushing her for that one dig or serve or spike–and feeling like she’s achieved all that and more.

And I should be able to make you feel the warmth of walking along the road on the California-Arizona border, where there’s nothing civilized in sight and a car hasn’t passed since yours broke down. I should be able to make you understand the fear of the person walking alone, a dot on the overall enormous desert panarama. And I should be able to make you feel that person’s longing for the outrageously sunny, cold days from his youth, when he cursed his snow clothes, but put them on anyway and drank pristine snow melting in his mouth to beat away his thirst.

And I should be able to do it without pictures.

  1. March 19, 2013 7:51 am

    Excellent piece. Even before each picture scrolled forward on my screen, I pictured in my mind what image I would see with your words. I enjoyed this.

  2. March 19, 2013 8:20 am

    Nice Pictures Chris. But I get it.

  3. Peggy Lambert permalink
    March 19, 2013 10:41 am

    You ‘should have’ and you did. Great job.

  4. Chris Hamilton permalink
    March 20, 2013 5:26 am

    Thanks! Sorry for the delay in moderating comments, though. I appreciate them!

  5. April 1, 2013 6:10 pm

    Well done.

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