EXCERPT: Last year, the people in charge of the picnic blew us up. Every year it gets worse. That is, more people die. The Frost Mountain Picnic has always been a matter of uncertainty in our town, and the massacre is the worst part. Even the people whose picnic blankets were not laid out directly upon the bomb line were knocked unconscious by the airborne limbs of their neighbors, or at least had the black earth at the foot of Frost Mountain driven under their eyelids and fingernails and up into their sinuses.
EXCERPT: Years ago, while studying Buddhism in college, I came across the Tibetan practice of sky burial, where the corpse is chopped into pieces and left out in the open for the vultures. Monks gather around the remains to meditate upon death, aided by the grisly reality of a human body reduced to it essential components. I found this fascinating. Still do. Bravo to those stalwart monks watching the vultures dip their red beaks into the human goulash. Whether it’s a spectacle I’d want to witness myself, though, is another matter.