A collection of brief essays on memorials and mercy, storms and farewells, family and fowl, barnyard ballets, the Sunday night sads, the wisdom of roadies, cucumbers and kindness, quotidian asparagus, appropo malaprops, pickleball, sushi boats and weird TV, the poetics of garlic, contrails, Mobius mind-grooves, quietude, Christmas tree injuries, cats, waffle houses, puffy partridges, bonfire bonhomie, dating in a hearse, and a weird evening involving Neil Gaiman, the aforementioned sushi, and Suze Orman. Gathered from his most recent “Roughneck Grace” columns, this is Michael Perry on: Bad days: “First thing I did today was back into the garage door. From the inside.” Releasing injured birds: “Nature gives odds, not insurance.” Returning home: “Like hubcap spinners rotating at a stoplight, the sensation of a road trip lingers, even as we stare at the hearth.” Contentment: “Find your happy place, they say, and so I am cutting up venison in the living room while watching the Packers.” Daughters dating: “…sometimes it’d be nice to have Grandma back, just sitting over there in a rocking chair with her rifle.” Hope: “A pair of wrens whose eggs may not hatch, but proceed as if that is the only outcome.” Politics: “These days asking questions in public is like pulling the toilet handle while standing in the bowl.” Physical fitness: “To say I run like a farmer is to insult a lot of farmers…my form was that of a man jogging while carrying two pails of milk shortly after eating a lard sandwich.” On children: “How many times do we hold our children close under the guise of comforting them when in fact we are clinging to them as if they were the last buoy in a cold sea?”
Including columns originally published between April 2018 and March 2020, Peaceful Persistence picks up where Perry’s most recent collection (Million Billion) left off, with Roughneck Grace and From the Top completing the quartet.
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