On Survival: Dear John McCain

On Survival: Dear John McCain

Dear John McCain:

I think of your tap code late at night when I am lonely. You broken and spent in the Hanoi Hilton tapping out “Are you okay?” to the guy on the other side of the wall.

“My name is Ernie Brace,” the taps from the prison cell next to you kept declaring. “My name is Ernie Brace.”  “My name is Ernie Brace.”  Then sobs.  Ernie Brace so overwhelmed by human contact he could only tap his name. 

Literary Traveler

Literary Traveler

Last night around a campfire, I bonded with our Bedouin guide (عبت) over Arabian Sands. He said the book, which he re-reads often, captures Bedouin culture like a zoom lens (his words) and the changing culture of Arabia like a crystal ball (mine). Thesiger wasn’t the first explorer to cross the Empty Quarter, but he has become arguably the most famous. And he opened up this place for me. Last night I danced in a dishdasha, drank fresh milk from goats, and watched the sunset from towering dunes of powder-like sand.

Borderlands

Borderlands

I’ve got a lot to gain by leaving my own borders every now and then. So maybe it’s time for me to read something other than plays. Time to step out of my zone and experience different things for a while. As I’m putting together my summer reading list, I’m going to select some good novels, some collections of short stories and yes, some poetry. And for Diana, a memoir or two.

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