The NBA post-season ended in July, the Olympics came and went in August, the US Open was over before I knew it in September, so when the football season kicked off last weekend, I was thrilled. Before Covid, I could not have told you the difference between a shortstop and a running back, but as pandemic life crawled forward with no end in sight, I’ve gone from being a casual sports viewer to a total fanatic. …
I am from America. One Nation, Under God. I don’t live in America anymore though. I live in far-away countries that are sometimes under God, but mostly under skies, clouds, stars, the sun, the moon, and sometimes birds.
I decided to return home after nearly a decade for a road trip — a three-thousand-mile drive with my mother and brother in a Chrysler Seabreeze from Boston, Massachusetts (where I grew up) to L.A.
Sitting in the back of a car for long stretches opens the mind up to a lot of weird thoughts. About three hours after we set out…
You bring him home from the hospital, in our case so early that you haven’t yet bought him a bed.
You look at him, inscrutable in a quickly assembled bassinet, and set about understanding him.
You hold him.
You hold him until, and while, he learns to walk, then hold out your hands so that he has somewhere to practice walking to.
You hold him only when he wants you to (and perhaps just a little more).
You imagine him in the world, first looming above others, their turning to him; then small, unknown, alone.
You put on his socks…
Picture the scene: There I am at the flower shop, stationed in front of those big, backlit refrigerators, grasping for the necks of birds of paradise, and then: “That one that looks like velvety lettuce! And the spiky purple ones! And oh, oh, those little orange bursts!”
“You mean these ones?”
The teenager flings a manicured hand in front of different buckets.
“These or these? You sure you want these? They smell like onions.”
(Oh, I do.)
We don’t use a single proper name as I move toward the blooms that please my eye and point. It doesn’t matter what…
I asked my English 101 class the other day, “If a billionaire supported you for the rest of your life, what career would you choose? Also, if you don’t choose a career, this support disappears.”
ME: In other words, if money wasn’t in the way, what would you do?
STUDENTS: Excellent question, professor. You are wise and help us see the truth within ourselves. We would pursue our dreams.
After they admitted this, and tearfully, they would change their majors, stopping this communication, business, engineering, computer-science nonsense immediately.
By the might of my question, the classroom would transform from a…
The library fostered my first act of rebellion. I was 12, peddling uphill on my older brother’s bike, the Southern California breeze warm against the sweat on my face. I was not allowed to play outside without permission, much less bike two miles down a busy road to the local library — but there I was.
I knew my parents would be gone for approximately two hours. I needed to make it home before they did if I was going to successfully hide the fact I’d been out while they weren’t home. But biking up the long hill back home…
I am the innocent child some are determined to protect. I know what it is to be born into this world unwanted and unprepared for. I am the child of a woman who had no children after giving me away to strangers. A woman who died too young because her secret destroyed her.
I am a woman who chose to have an abortion. And I am a woman who brought two very wanted children into this world.
I laid in my bed, somewhere between floating and fugue. Claude, the supposedly rich guy with diplomatic immunity who never had money but…
Somewhere in the flotsam of my bathroom vanity drawer is a decent pair of tweezers. Somewhere in the deluge of paper bags in my hall closet is a reusable one. Somewhere in my clothes closet is a pair of jeans that still fit.
Crap. It’s time to declutter.
Usually moving is the impetus for me to declutter, and I used to find pleasure in the sorting, deciding, and purging process. Moving may be impetus again, as some seismic life shifts are forthcoming. …
I got married when I was 20 years old. My ex-husband was 27, a graduate student at the university where I was getting my bachelor’s. We met while I was at work at the college bookstore. He bought coffee and always smiled at me. He was gentle and calm. Stable. He felt safe.
We spent about six months together before tying the knot. Our wedding ceremony was in an art gallery near the town where I grew up. The ceremony went well with no hijinks except for a small snowstorm that swirled in and then left just as quickly. …
An image has been coming to me repeatedly of late: falling snow seen through a window. It’s an image I associate with my New England childhood when snow often fell in great enough quantities to keep us home from school for a day or more. The exciting freedom of such a day included sleeping late, reading non-school books, tobogganing, and hot cocoa.
These associations will never go away, but my current thoughts about falling snow are less attached to the excitement than to the peace of it, the way snow can fall at a furious pace and still be silent…
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