Abandonments below 0°F

Three generations,

seventeen individuals if

we include the two lost in childbirth.

Perhaps not here since

those never knew the warmth

of the potbelly stove fully stoked

when outside temps fell

below zero degrees Fahrenheit.

They share a marker

in the corner of the family plot,

down the path,

beneath a small grove of pines

just beyond the barn:

Clara – Evan

I suppose it is good

they have each other

carved with that distinct dash

demarcating their respective

sides of the badly worn stone.

It would have been

nice to know the year.

1871? 1917?

I guess it does not change

the tenor of this story much.

They never shared a day

playing in the yard.

They never shared the warmth

of the potbelly stove.



Written in response to The Amplification Effect #4, an abandoned house.

Gratitude and a Peek Ahead

Krater Cafe Logo

A bit of a departure, as I want to take the time to express my gratitude for those that have been viewing my work and provide some context to what has been unfolding on Krater Café.

At the end of the summer, I made a commitment to invest in the creative posture I want to take from now on. I spent a month reviewing my options. While the return to WordPress was an obvious choice (I was never interested in setting up shop on a social media domain), I could not have anticipated the value in deciding to go with a WordPress.com site. The built-in value of community that I had been blind to over the last fifteen years has been amazing.

I decided I would spend three months heavily invested in posting and learning about the ecosystem of bloggers connected in this space, in preparation for a launch in 2023. Things have exceeded my expectations – a hundredfold. No exaggeration.

The pre-launch phase is coming to a close and the variety of experiments I hoped to run have taken place. This included watching what would happen if I did not post for a few days. The allure of building traffic was hard to resist at times, but moving toward launch next week, I am glad I have sorted through those distractions and remain focused on what matters most to me: a daily creative engagement.

As I make the final preparations of how I would like to proceed with this venture, I wanted to announce a few weekly features that will be new next month to go along with The Amplification Effect.

  • Krater Café Mixers, a podcast, about 20 minutes in length, with a guest writer/artist/activist each week.
  • Deep Cuts from the Creative Blogosphere, featuring two blogs reviews each week: one will have a visual arts focus, the other writing.

More than anything, as we head into 2023, I look forward to the amazing stream of creativity flowing from the blogs I read on a daily basis. It’s truly inspiring. I look forward to engaging with all of you in deeper and evermore interesting ways over the coming months.

The Amplification Effect, No. 4

This is an invitation for artists and writers, creators of any medium, to participate in a group exercise.

A group exercise performed in the comments.

A symbol is provided, and participants are asked to share at least twice to generate an amplification of that symbol.

Regarding the value of amplification of symbolic content, CG Jung writes:

 “An archetypal content expresses itself, first and foremost, in metaphors. If such a content should speak of the sun and identify with it the lion, the king, the hoard of gold guarded by the dragon, or the power that makes for the life and health of man, it is neither the one thing nor the other, but the unknown third thing that finds more or less adequate expression in all these similes, yet– to the perpetual vexation of the intellect– remains unknown and not to be fitted into a formula.”

Jung, CW, V. 9i, p. 267

Jung also championed approaching unconscious symbolic material with an ‘as-if’ attitude. Jung taught that meaning may be circumscribed, but not described.

The Process

1. Participants self-select.

2. Responses are placed in the comments to this post.

3. Each participant replies with an amplification of the symbol.

4. Each participant replies with an association to another participant’s amplification.

5. Participants are encouraged to repeat steps 3 and 4 as often as they wish.

6. Participants are encouraged to reflect on the group results of the exercise to provide an impetus for future creative work.

Postscript: Consider linking back to this post with any work this exercise generates. Links from this post to any work generated will be shared below.

(For further information, as well as an example of a completed group response mind map, see the inaugural Amplification Effect)


Week #4 Amplification Effect Symbol:

An abandoned house.

Join us in the comments below!


Group Response Mind Map (updated throughout the exercise):


Links to Works Generated:

Abandonments Below 0°F, by Richard Reeve