About The Site
Tasting Life Twice is a journal of reflections on things seen and unseen, whimsical and wise, ordinary and odd, magical and mundane, with a few stretchers thrown in for a dash of flavor. The blog title is borrowed from the French novelist Anais Nain who said, “We write to taste life twice.”
Like a taxonomist categorizing life into kingdom, phylum, class and the like, my collection of stories is arranged into certain family headings where the stories share similarities. Here are descriptions of what you will find on the website:
WISE AND OTHERWISE:
I won’t bore you with information about my whereabouts. Chances are, I have no idea where I am at any given time. I use Twitter like “the Preacher” in the Book of Proverbs, collecting short wisdom sayings that are worthy of remembrance. Among the Azters, such people were called the tlamatini. They were thinker-teachers who were assigned the task of remembering things – sagas, legends, laws, histories. The tlamatini was one responsible for knowing the stories.
A CHILD’S WORLD:
Picasso once said that “it took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” These stories and anecdotes attempt to paint the world in words, revealing a child’s curiosity and credulity, wonder and surprise.
For as long as I can remember, I have lived in the world imagined by the Bible, hearing stories that are thousands of years old, meeting strange characters along the way, learning how others have made sense of their lives. “Midrash” means to search out, to seek, to inquire. Years ago, Jewish rabbis collected their own imaginative readings of the biblical text, drawn as they were to those places in the Bible that had an implicative lacuna, an opening that seemed to invite the reader’s imagination. Even as they were paying attention to what the text said, they were also interested in what the account didn’t say:
“What did Adam think about when reminiscing in his old age? Why did Lot’s wife look back? When Jacob discovered on his wedding night that he had Leah in his bed and not Rachel, what did Leah say? What did the manna taste like?” (Modern Poems on the Bible: An Anthology).
Blog posts in this section are musings on the meaning of the Bible, thousands of years after the stories were told and written down.
CHARACTERS FROM O’CONNOR:
These characters and stories pay homage to Flannery O’Connor who, when asked why she wrote so many eccentric characters into her short stories, replied: “to the hard of hearing you shout and to the almost deaf and blind you draw large and startling figures.”
Here I pay tribute to the inquisitive spirit of the human race and those daring souls who follow their curiosity and summon the courage to climb a smokestack, sing karaoke, swim a river or love a neighbor.
In this category I am collecting examples of what the Russian theorist Mikhail Bahktin termed “insidedness”. It’s the capacity to empathize with another, the ability to see the world from another perspective. We express this idea in proverbs such as “don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes” and “don’t judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.”