Archive for April, 2019

In my foyer there is a Grandfather’s Clock dating from the mid eighteen hundreds. Its origin is German. Before it came to me, it belonged to my husband’s uncle, a chaplain and Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force. It is a beautiful clock, and temperamental, but if I keep it wound, its gong is clear and loud and steady with an echo that resounds for nearly a full minute throughout the house.

On top of a china cabinet in my dining room, there is an Arsonia Mantel Clock that belonged to my grandmother, also dating from the eighteen hundreds, and may have belonged to my great-grandmother who lived through Sherman’s march through Georgia during the Civil War. My grandparents had it when my mother was born in Savannah, GA, and it traveled with their family to Panama City Florida, and finally to Dothan, Al. I remember my grandmother’s daily ritual of winding it. I wasn’t allowed to touch it then, but today, I’m the performer of that ritual and the receiver of its chiming. 

Over the years, these two old clocks have evaluated time for over a century. They have broken silence as they struck through births and deaths, through happiness and sorrow, and through all in between. In hours, minutes, and seconds, these clocks have measured out the lives of many people, some of my family and some unknown. And as people died, the clocks continued to tick along, echoing the past, echoing the lives of those people.

There are many clichés about Time: Time is of the essence. Time heals all wounds. Time is money. But what is time really?  To understand, we might consider its opposite.

As human beings on Earth, we cannot experience the opposite of Time, which is timelessness, or eternity. We cannot fathom ‘No Beginning. No End.’  Our everyday lives are full of schedules and the ticking of clocks.

Some lives tick slow and heavy like the pulse of the Grandfather Clock. Others are quick and lithe as in the tick of the Mantel Clock.

But if Time is how we measure out our lives here on Earth, then what we do in those hours and minutes and seconds we have, must signal something awfully important.

Just as in the ritual of winding the old Mantel Clock, we have a great deal to do with how our time on Earth will be spent and perceived. And as with the Grandfather Clock, there will surely be an echo.

What sort of reverberation will my Time on Earth create?

What will my own echo be?

On May 13, The Distance Between High and Low will be officially launched on

Book Buzz, Net Galley, and IndieBound.org.

BUT it is now RELEASED on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I hope you’ll take a look, and hopefully leave a review in time for the launch.

A Finalist in The William Faulkner/William Wisdom Competition, and Finalist for The Tuscany Prize for Fiction, The Distance Between High and Low is a Southern Gothic novel about the consequences for two young people who set out to learn the identity of their father. Teenaged twins, Lizzie and Peck live in the house of their eccentric, widowed grandmother Pearl–a house of history and secrets– along with their unstable, drug-addicted, artist mother, Lila, and Izear, a half-Cherokee Indian devoted to Pearl who took him into her house many years before. Often with dark humor, the story focuses on the strivings of complex characters in the fictional town of Highlow, Alabama from the 1960’s into the 1980’s.

PRAISE for The Distance Between High and Low:

With masterful control and skillful writing, Kaye Park Hinckley boldly explores a wide range of wounded souls, ultimately finding love in the unlovable, and grace in the sufferings of a complex world. –Cassandra King Conroy, Tell Me A Story: My Life with Part Conroy (coming in October)

Once again, Kaye Park Hinckley has written a truly Southern novel, deeply rooted in a small town yet universal in appeal. Strongly wrought characters wrestle with half-understood desires, half-articulated questions, half-intended sins – with emptiness and fulfillment, love and anger, sanity and absurdity. All in all, this is a wonderful book that struggles with the imperfections of our human condition. — Arthur Powers,The Book of Jotham (2012 Tuscany Novella Prize), A Hero for the People (2014 Catholic Arts & Letters Award)

EXCERPT:

We all got our customized cravings, our particular drugs you might say; habits, traditions, our routine ways of coping. Even Pearl has strong inclinations. Take her Fine China, restored with Super Glue to keep up her Highlow family, yet Pearl was powerless to fix the genuine break in her grandson’s heart. I like to think it’s fixed now. I like to think that Sister Perpetua flew down from heaven, took Peck back up with her, and told him what she once told me, “You may not know it, little fellow, but Jesus loves you. Oh yes, He does!” Then I think about my own Fine China, that drug I used to crave. Lila thinks I killed her son, but the thing that took Peck was the simple narcotic need for a father. It was his own customized craving that killed him. Not me. No, not me.
— Hobart McSwain, The Distance Between High and Low

POLITICS: The art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government.

MORALITY: Beliefs about what is right behavior and what is wrong behavior.

POLITICS or MORALITY???

Standing against abortion. Is that politics, or morality?

Standing against the selling of a pre-born baby’s body parts. Is that politics or morality?

Standing against the killing of aborted babies who live through the abortion. Is that politics or morality?

Standing against sex outside of marriage because of God’s commandment that it is wrong. Is that politics, or morality?

Advocating that marriage is created by God as a sacrament between a man and a woman. Is that politics, or morality?

Advocating that drugs harm not only the physical body, but the human soul. Is that politics, or morality?

Advocating that lying–especially under oath–is a sin. Is that politics, or morality?

You may be able to bring up other similar examples that are referred to as political, but are actually moral questions about what is good, honest and true.

Do you see an underlying–and current–problem here? Topics that have long been considered part of morality are, today, suddenly political questions where the answers are made wishy-washy enough to be voted on as morally correct behavior. And worse— it is politically correct to adhere to them, even when they are morally wrong.

This is called propaganda–because it fuzzies up Truth. In fact, it tries to diminish the Truth by using terms that intimidate or make a moral person seem small and petty.

What is the next step? A complete elimination of morality, and an assumption of evil over goodness?

Well, that bothers me. Does it bother you?

Today’s politically correct idea of morality reminds me of the fairytale, The Emperor’s New Clothes. The people are propagandized with pre-planned slogans about how wonderfully dressed the emperor is–-and so they believe it. But in truth the emperor is parading around stark naked. And everyone is afraid to say so because it’s hard to be one of the few standing against the crowd. It’s hard to be David fighting Goliath. It’s hard to do what is right when it costs something. It’s hard to say no, and to walkaway from the propagandists. It’s hard to fight against evil, because evil means to hurt us–not one, but all of us, for its own self-aggrandizement.

But if we don’t stand up to the fight, what sort of country will we have left to live in? And what sort of soul will we eventually carry to the God who carries us?

To Kill a Human Being

Posted: April 6, 2019 in World On The Edge