Blue Skies over Dark Days by Paul Casselle is a collection of six essays. What they are about is hinted at in the subtitle From first kiss to last breath. As a fan of horror and crime, I thought I might find this delightful. In fact, I found it delightful but that was because Casselle’s perspectives surprised me. No horror, no crime, but good writing.
Is that a tool in your pocket? ***** As a teacher, I sometimes predict the eventual fate of some of my students. I had teachers that predicted my life path when I was in school. One of my teachers was “spot on” in his prediction of my occupation. Unfortunately, I could not tell him so as he died before I could meet him. In this story, Paul has a chance to meet his former Headmaster. Mr. Collins had made a prediction about Paul’s future. Was he right?
Five days of vacillation ***** This story is an examination of a white lie. There is also a mention of a black lie. But the best term of all in this story is pre-emptive hindsight. This story is worth the read for that explanation alone.
See Venice and die ***** “I went on a cruise with a bunch of Ukrainians and all I got was this one photograph.” I think this would work as a T-shirt imprint. Watch out for Sergei, he might be a political officer.
Life in the old dog ***** This is a very poignant story on life and the worth of life told through the filter of the imminent end of two lives.
A face in the crowd ***** Alan and his friend weren’t quite yet actors but they were paying their dues by doing things like painting scenery. They knew present low-level activities would lead to a future professional acting career. One night on their way home, they picked up a hitchhiker, Jennifer. The guys mentioned they were in the theater. Jennifer replied that her father was in the theater also. She went on to reveal that her father was one of the most famous actors on the British stage. The two friends were jealous. Jennifer would never have to pay her dues. She could break into acting through Daddy. When asked about a possible career, Jennifer replied that whatever she would do, she would do it professionally. Years later the two friends learned that she possibly had done just that.
Que sera, sera ***** There can be certainty in death, even when a person thinks it is not his or her responsibility to determine the date. Let someone else do it.
Paul Casselle takes what could be mundane in everyday life and elevates it to a level of philosophical contemplation worthy of Bertrand Russell. I will look for more of his writings to see if they are also five-star Amazon reads (as this one is).