I WANNA BE AN ORACLE

a catfish at the bottom of the river

Sarah Lee laughed and laughed. In my search among photos, I’d found a catfish. She does not allow any photo of her to be shown on FB, and her birthday is October 21, and I wanted a photo. Of Mediterranean descent is she, and thus generous in several aspects, notably her wide mouth, and just, well, generous. The catfish of course was a tease; just a joke. Never would I ever post such a thing.

An Oracle is what I wanna be (to return to business).

Any writer who survives the ages is an Oracle. Do we not venerate artists of old? for their enduring wisdom? They do just what you and I do, presuming we are writers of vision, and they are immortalized by time.

So who the heck are you?

LITTLE KID—I wanna be an oracle.
SCHOOLMARM—You’re no oracle.
LITTLE KID—But I wanna be an oracle.
SCHOOLMARM—What makes you think you’re an oracle?
LITTLE KID—Hemingway was an oracle.
SCHOOLMARM—You’re no Hemingway.
LITTLE KID—But madam, even Hemingway wasn’t Hemingway until Hemingway was Hemingway.

All is not lost, for I am also a person of considerable style and, yes, a simplicity of elegance: a person of grace. Yes, grace.

Grace paves the road to oracle-ism with gold. Grace is the—

What! is someone laughing at me? Who is that laughing! Is that you, Sarah Lee, laughing at me!

YOU BETTER NOT BE LAUGHING AT ME!

You’re laughing at me. That’s what you’re doing. You’re laughing at me.

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4 Responses to “I WANNA BE AN ORACLE”

  1. Janice Campbell Says:

    It happens, Robert, it happens.

    I do hope you and Sarah Lee will be at the James River Writer’s Conference? As always, it will be good, and of course, your presence would make it even brighter.

    And a very happy birthday to Sarah Lee now, as I probably won’t be online Sunday.

    It’s a lovely catfish, but doesn’t quite convey the essence of SL. But the fact that she laughed and let you get away with it does. You’re lucky, you are.

  2. Robert Hartley Says:

    No, Janice, we’re not attending the conference this year.

    I never ever intended to actually post that catfish. But–

    The woman laughed at me! LAUGHED!

    Listen, Janice. I am a person of considerable refinement. Grace. Simplicity. Exquisite in taste, and not without charm. Style. And both eloquent and elegant. Debonaire…

  3. Janice Campbell Says:

    But of course. And you’re still alive, so that’s all good.

    One of these days, though, you’ll leave your computer on and Sarah Lee will post a suitable riposte to the catfish. Something that captures the essential you in all the splendid subtlety of your grace and refinement. I’d mind my ps and qs (peas and cues?) if I were you!

    I missed you two at the conference. It was a good one. I’ll post a bit if I ever finish this benighted second edition. It’s due this weekend. Okay, I’m getting back to work.

    Really I am.

  4. roberthartley Says:

    I caught Sarah Lee looking at a giant anteater this weekend!

    Ahhhhhh, but April 9 is a long way away!

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