Writing In Public celebrates the art and intelligence of essays, online and in print.

Amy Butcher on Still Things

Butcher considers the smaller things all around us that keep us moving @ Brevity.

I liked ice-skating mostly because I didn’t understand it. I just pulled the stiff leather up to my knees, stood upright, wobbled back and forth until I began to move and then, in motion, I felt a thing that is not the right thing but I can convince myself otherwise. I think, This is a miracle, what I am doing.

But he wanted to talk to me about pressure. He said, You move because the ice melts into water. You glide.
I wasn’t gliding. I was wobbling, barely, on a rink beside a movie theater. This was an indoor rink. We were in the middle of a mall. Across the way, a group of teenage girls held hands and floated past the Chik-Fil-A. I was doing my best to stand upright, thinking, I like what I’m doing because it remains a mystery.
This is how I feel about everything—like evolution, or why a cake rises. I like these things because I don’t know how they work. What I don’t know is what makes them good. Explain them to me and I don’t find them interesting anymore.
It’s a small film of water, he says, that allows you to move.
He was the boyfriend of a friend. The friend was moving somewhere ahead of us—fluidly, really. The boyfriend was a scientist—he cloned DNA in a laboratory late at night. My friend and I joked about the white coat we imagined he wore, the goggles, but I never asked him about it. Again: I like to just imagine.


essay, essayist, writer, author, literary journal, book review, thinker, publishing,

In Praise of the Dilettante

Madison Smart Bell on Writing the City