Two very different books from publishers in Sandpoint are making their debuts this month. Morning Light Press has issued Say Nothing: Poems of Jalal al-Din Rumi in Persian and English, with facing-page translations. In his verses, the 13th-century poet and theologian recounts a Creator who wants to be known but remains ineffable: "I said: How long will You drag my soul around the world? / He said: Wherever I drag you, come quickly. Say nothing. / ... Except for our Beloved's love and kindness, say nothing." Spiritual questing of a different kind can be found in Jim Payne's One Inch Above the Water: Running Away on America's Rivers (Lytton Publishing Company), in which a retired poli sci professor (now living in Sandpoint) recounts his journeys in a 12-foot collapsible kayak. On the Columbia River alone, he encounters dams, barges and all manner of noisy hunters and drunken teens. So much for a tranquil paddling experience.
Another Ripping Night
Despite what our Fall Arts Preview says on page 39, Rip Taylor's Bottoms Up runs from tonight through Saturday night, Sept. 13. So check him out -- yes, he's that guy who was the center square on Hollywood Squares.
Heaven on Wheels
Spokefest founder Bill Bender reports that 1,255 registered cyclists took part in the inaugural community bike ride on Sunday, far exceeding his expectations. Riders flooded the roads from the Monroe Street Bridge to the Centennial Trail, where the crowds began to thin out for the remaining 14 miles through Riverside State Park and back to downtown. Symphony musicians tootled from the back seats of tandem bikes at the start line. Bluegrass bands entertained the packs along the way. All in all, reminiscent of another famous Spokane athletic event, which drew 1,200 at its first running in 1977 and hasn't stopped growing. "The word is that we'll be expect[ing] 2-3 times the number of people next year," Bender wrote in an e-mail earlier this week. "We are bracing for it."