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October 2013, vol 8, no 3

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Ray Rasmussen


Breakfast without a newspaper is a horse without a saddle.
― Edward R. Murrow

I am six months into my experiment of not reading the daily newspaper at breakfast. Instead I read essays, including one by E.B. White, who, in response to Murrow's metaphor, called breakfast "the hour when we sit munching stale discouragement along with fresh toast."

Breakfast is more enjoyable now, but I sometimes feel I've missed something important – something others know that I don't but should.

Stretching Murrow's metaphor, it's me that’s unsaddled – riderless. This morning, as I walk the dog on the berm overlooking the freeway, there's the usual tangle of commuters, all hurrying somewhere.

winter morning –
the cat mews
over an empty bowl

1. Both the Murrow and White quotes are taken from E.B. White, "Newspaper Strike," The New Yorker, December 12, 1953.
2. Previously published in Haibun Today, January 6, 2008.