Star Line Books
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
A Fifth Tuesday Event
This event will feature readings by Deborah Levine, Finn Bille, Ray Zimmerman and possibly a surprise guest reader.
Award-winning author Deborah J. Levine launches her historical memoir, The Liberator’s Daughter. Rising from their Eastern European Jewish immigrant roots, her family of Swigs, Levines, and Malloys left a legacy of tikkun olam, repairing the world. Estelle and Aaron Levine met as students at Harvard University, fell in love and married during World War II. As a US military intelligence officer, Aaron was deployed to France and Germany. He witnessed the death camps and interrogated Nazi prisoners of war. His letters to Estelle expressed the horrors of the Holocaust while her love letters kept him going. Both were dedicated to Jewish advocacy and education for the rest of their lives. Aaron and Estelle inspired their daughter to dedicate her life to the Jewish community, Holocaust projects, interfaith collaboration, and cross-cultural understanding.
Finn Bille is a poet and storyteller, and writer of stories and articles.
His poetry collections are Waking Dream, 1986; Rites of the Earth, 1994, and Fire Poems, 2011. His poems have appeared in several local anthologies, as well as Southern Light: Twelve Contemporary Southern Poets.
His CD, Marzipan: Stories with Music with Rick Davis on the hammered ducimer, contains Finn's performance of his original stories.
His articles have appeared in local publications, including The Pulse, and in the national Storytelling magazine.
Finn lives with his wife Jeanne in North Chattanooga, rides his bicycle around the city, and paddles his sea kayak on the Tennessee River.
Ray Zimmerman has spent a lifetime observing, photographing and writing about the natural world. His nonfiction and Poetry have appeared in The Hellbender Press (Knoxville), 2nd and Church (Nashville), Photo Traveler (Los Angeles), Legacy: The Journal of Interpretation (Fort Collins), The Avocet (Fountain Hills, AZ), and The Southern Poetry Anthology (Texas Review Press). He lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee where he works in tourism and spends as much time writing and reading as possible.
On a bluebird day, I set off to Tracy City on the edge of the Cumberland Plateau. I love to travel, particularly on the back roads. The book Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon entered my thoughts, and I remembered how I discovered some unique parts of the world by driving back roads.
I pondered the motivation for my writing. Annie Dillard said that a writer must ask what they alone can love. In the book Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott spoke about self-compassion as a gateway to compassion for others. This opens channels for observation of the world and its events. It triggers the writing process and keeps the writer moving forward.
I asked myself, “What is your passion? What do you love?” In my mind, the soundtrack played George Thorogood singing his classic hit with a similar title.
Always a fan of Blue Highways, I took Highway 41 from Chattanooga to Haletown, a town on the Tennessee River near Nickajack Dam. I contemplated stopping on my way back to watch the bats come out of Nickajack Cave. The cave is home to a large colony of Gray Bats, and I have seen them exit at sunset. Each bat will eat its weight in mosquitoes and other insects each night they emerge.
A biting fly draws blood.
She prepares to lay her eggs.
Gone in the swoop of wings
Wings come forth from the earth.
They swoop and feed all night long
Home with milk for young
Wings of night decline
White fungus disturbs their sleep
Grows upon their nose
White-nose syndrome threatens bats across America. It is a fungus that came from Europe, where bats are immune. Without natural immunity, the bats in our northeastern states succumb to the fungus, which turns their noses white. They come out of hibernation in winter and expend energy intended to keep them alive until spring. With no insects to feed on during their winter flights, they starve. White-nose syndrome has now entered the Southeast and threatens bat colonies here.
Less recent images. These are from Glen Falls Trail
Galileo plucked man from the center of the universe.
He was made to recant. The church quoted a verse.
I see you as a luminous being,
like the Northern Lights
floating in an atmospheric ocean
with a second skin
of charged particles.
We are electric
charges arc between us.
Visiting the sea
you float in dark waters
among shining creatures.
Their lights reveal your presence.
After someone deliberately misinterpreted a statement I made today, and did so for the sole purpose of political gain, I am done with politics. I expect this sort of stupidity from the right, but it hurts more when it comes from the left, the supposedly enlightened ones.
If the acquisition of power is the end of politics
the use of politics guarantees
that there will be people without power.