Behind You

by Joshua Wilbur As you read these words, someone (or some thing) could be creeping up behind you. Maybe you’re sitting at your desk.  Or at your kitchen table. Or on a half-empty train. Behind you looms an encroaching presence, a silent observer. I picture a middle-aged man in a black suit — a tired…

Skimming The Surface

by Joshua Wilbur  tl; dr: Skim-reading is a bad habit, all things considered. It’s detrimental to our sense of time and place. Screen technologies are fundamentally changing not only how we read but also how we think and what we remember. But readers shouldn’t take all the blame. Writers, editors, and creatives of all stripes…

The Pull of the Now

by Joshua Wilbur  Repetition, in itself, is neither good nor bad. Everything repeats. “Nature is an endless combination and repetition of very few laws,” said Emerson. Seasons come, and seasons go. But what’s true for seasons isn’t true for people. We tend to prefer some forms of repetition to others. At its best, repetition is…

An Inconvenient Democracy

by Joshua Wilbur This past Tuesday—September 25th 2018—was “National Voter Registration Day” in the United States. I didn’t register to vote on September 25th, and I’m not registered to vote as I write this now. I’m not proud of the fact. Far from it, I feel intensely guilty when I imagine some upstanding acquaintance asking…

The Eye’s Mind

by Joshua Wilbur  I would never call myself a birdwatcher. I’m confident—arrogant even—about blue jays and cardinals, but everything else is a crapshoot. I identify finches as sparrows, sparrows as hawks, hawks as starlings. I’m more often wrong than right. That said, I do like to watch birds. In college, I would go to the…

The New Twenties

by Joshua Wilbur  The 2020s will have a name. In the nursing homes of the future, Millennials’ grandchildren will hear all about the coming decade. Gran will remove her headset, loaded out with VR-entertainment and the latest in biometric tech, and she’ll tell the kids about the world as it was in the third decade…