Joe Blair





Joe Blair



Joe Blair is a pipefitter living in Coralville, Iowa with his wife and four children. His essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Iowa Review.

Average rating: 3.54 · 593 ratings · 161 reviews · 1 distinct work · Similar authors
By the Iowa Sea: A Memoir o...

3.54 avg rating — 593 ratings — published 2012 — 6 editions
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“It is possible to grieve for the loss of a thing even as you are in possession of it. To crave the very thing you have been blessed with.”
Joe Blair

“Some might say the difference between being a kid and being a grown-up is that grown-ups don't think they can sail around the world all by themselves. Why not? Because they don't have a sailboat. Because they couldn't make the mortgage payments if they sailed around the world. Because they don't know how to sail. Because they don't want to. Because it's just a TV show. There can be a lot of becauses. There can be endless becauses. Because you're a grown-up. Because you have responsibilities. Because you haven't made one choice in the last ten years. Because (and here's the important one) you're a coward. Yes. That's right. Because you, my little friend, are a coward. When you're a kid, on the other hand, your entire thought process is consumed with visions of WHAT MIGHT BE. You are propelled forward in search of some foggy thing. Some thing that you believe might be amazing. What you might do. Who you might be. You imagine that there are so many possibilities.”
Joe Blair

“The word "passion" is from the Latin "passionem," which means "suffering, enduring." What else could the word "passion" mean? "Good times?" "Happiness?" Passion has nothing to do with happiness. I think we all want to be happy. I also think we rarely are. Happiness, like the urge to write, is a virus we catch. Not on purpose, but randomly. It comes, displays its symptoms, and then it goes. And we're left with a type of wistful nostalgia for this fleeting, accidental thing. This is our most common stance in the world. It's not a balanced pose, rather a kind of suffering. Enduring. A kind of passion. Which, we all agree, is a positive thing. For some reason. We want to be passionate. And we want to be happy. It's sort of like wanting to be sick and well at the same time.”
Joe Blair



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