The Point Of Living

Peter Wells, of the countingducks blog, is a proficient author of short fiction. Each of his stories exists independent of the others, and while they are typically only a few hundred words long they never leave the reader asking what’s next — the writing is precise and focused, providing a thorough examination of a concept or character while also being consistently entertaining, with the occassional clever line that never seems forced or overbearing.

His About page is worth reading on its own, and contains its own little gems —  Life soon passes, my skin attests to that.

His latest story, The Point of Living, is the first-person narrative of an unnammed man who follows numerous paths to personal fulfillment, each of which leads to a dead end. Over two decades of this man’s life is summarized in just a handful of paragraphs (approximately two mouse clicks are required to traverse from beginning to end, your exact effort a function of  screen resolution), and at the conclusion the narrator is as uncertain as ever, yet somehow in exactly the place where he’s most comfortable. Like most of Peter’s stories, it provides an image that lasts far longer than the time required to read this clever little fable.

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On Reconsideration

Peter Wells aka Countingducks has posted a beautiful ode to the struggle between practicality and idealism. His narrator is disappointed with decisions he’d made in his past; the following is not a response, but rather a different perspective inspired by that voice.

Regrets . . . are for people who feel powerless to learn from experience

Mistake . . . is the name we assign to a decision which now causes pain

Loss . . . is a comforting defense against our greatest fear

Mourning the past is the same as dreading the future,
Because you cannot turn the page of a closed book