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Naseem Rakha's Blog

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    The last time I went to Paris it was spring, and flower petals fell onto the sidewalks and streets making them pink and white and slick, waiting to be crushed beneath Italian Leather Boots and German sports cars and the bicycle tires of boys carrying bags of baguettes. English humor...
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Way up, up, up there—sky level, is a town called Ambelakia. It is in Greece and it sits with the clouds, the world below a small toy. And bakers bake bread as bloated as balloons, and women make wine as sharp as pine needles, and children nap under almond trees fragrant with fall while I sit on a...
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With all the good news about advertisers dropping Rush Limbaugh like the bag of crap he is, this little news tidbit caught my eye: LOCAL GIRL SCOUTS CANCEL ADS ON RUSH LIMBAUGH Which begs the question: why in the hell were the Girl Scouts advertising on the Rush Limbaugh Show? We are talking Rush...
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I stare at a picture of a young teenager. He has brown hair. Brown eyes. A smile. He looks like a nice kid. Kind. Atheletic. I imagine him throwing a ball, first as a boy with his dad, later in little league. I imagine the young boy growing into his body and mind, struggling with the things we all...
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Good news! JK Rowling must write more about the Wizarding World.  Why? Because as friend and writer Jessica Morrell says, "heros need to be heroic." JK Rowling, in leaving her characters where she did at the end of book seven, middle-aged parents tottering their kids off to the Hogworts...
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  About these photos, they were taken on September 11, 2001 on Lake Champlain in Vermont. Chuck, Elijah and I were on vacation when we heard the news.  Reeling, I took Elijah to the backyard where we played until sunset. Elijah, throwing stones off the dock and watching them splash and...
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Every once in a while, in Oregon's Willamette Valley, we have a weather phenomena called "freezing fog." Yesterday was one of those days. Everything covered in a sheath of horefrost, everything silent and still. The day passes in a dim, gray light, the world erased from view. 
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Just now the word has come in: Governor John Kitzhaber has stopped the execution of two time killer Gary Haugen. He is on the radio now, in tears, he is describing how our death penalty system is broken. It has been carried out twice in the past 49 years, both on Kitzbaber's watch.  He says...
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  Your a parent - you have a choice - send your child to the Nike Child Development Center or the Joe Paterno Child Development Center.  No brainer, right? Not for Nike.  In the wake of news that legendary coach, Joe Paterno, did not go to the police after learning his defensive...
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When people ask me about the end of The Crying Tree, I tell them I wanted it to bring forth the feelings I get when listening to the end of Aaron Copelands's Appalacian Spring. What I don't tell them is what I also wanted to try for were the feelings I get when I watch my favorite movie: Shawshank...
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Last summer, my ten-year-old son read Harry Potter. The seven book, 1,091,123 word phenomena that has swept the world. When he was done, he asked me to read it. I like to read what my son is reading. It gives the two of us opportunities to talk about books and characters. Protagonists and...
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Remember the Coffee Lady? The 30 something mom who ended up a millionaire after she spilled coffee in her lap? Remember how she got a cup of hot coffee from McDonald's, then tried to open it while driving, and then--duhhh, it spilled, and ouch, it hurt, and voila, she's in court suing Ronald...
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On a ferry, Bremerton to Seattle. The sun is strong today. Burning through weaker, meeker clouds. A supine breath of clouds. Meaningless to the promise of this particular day. Houses perched on island hills, their backsides facing the snow capped Olympics, their fronts the lemon mist glow of the...
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Old Man Walking in a Rye Field - Lauritz Ring
I am very sad to learn that Keith, a man I hardly knew, but who occupied a large part of my community, has died. I don't know how he died. I don't know where, or even precisely, when. I don't know if there will be a memorial for him. But there should be. If I were to imagine how he died, it would...
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Southern Oregon Coast
I am sitting in a leather chair. A fire burning in small wood stove. I have a cup of coffee beside me, and to my right is a view of the big and bountiful southern Oregon Coast. It is raining out, which is perfect as I  prepare for tonight’s keynote speech at the South Coast Writers Conference in...
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