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Neil Young for Dummies

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Jayla Kai - ROY GUMPEL
  • Roy Gumpel
  • Jayla Kai

I find myself listening to America, the mediocre soft-rock band of the 1970s. (Though like many old-time groups, it still exists!) Their optimistic, Californian, "mellow" sound—they should have called themselves Neil Young for Dummies—is the exact opposite of today's anxiety-dosed daily vigil. On YouTube I play: "Ventura Highway in the sunshine / Where the days are longer/ The nights are stronger/ Than moonshine." For decades I've hated America, but now I need them.

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Walking along my road, I notice that the yellow coltsfoot flowers—among the first blooms of spring—have contracted in the cold. I say to one: "O brave coltsfoot flower, pulling your petals in for warmth, may I be strong as you!"

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Heard in A Dream

"Everything I own just got heavier."

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Theology Lesson

Is kindness enough?

Yes, kindness is sufficient.

Sparrow is the author of, most recently Abraham: A Novel, an exploration of the life of the 16th president through the eyes of a Stone Ridge chiropractor.

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