Silver dust

Among our dead, returned ashes-to-ashes back to the earth, are family, friends, neighbors, four dogs, and a silver-coated cat who was blessed with canine disposition. The cat was a gift, delivered by silver Cadillac one summer afternoon, the last summer our checks came preprinted with 19___, when my tug-of-war between West and South hadn’t yet…

A few things: January 2018

“To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June.” – Jean-Paul Sartre Our Christmas tree sparkled clear through Epiphany and beyond, lighting that particular corner of its room for so long that we were tempted to just leave it up. “When it starts to brown, we can…

How art might save the world.

When I was small and days were most often spent with just the two of us, my mother and me, filling time as we pleased, I spent countless hours in parks and museums, wandering aimlessly and looking at trees, art, and artifacts. Our most frequent haunt was the Brooks Museum, where my mother liked to…

A few things: December 2017

Looking back over the past 12 months, the way December beckons that kind of review, one encounter stands out as perhaps the best thing to happen to me in this terrible, wonderful year. I was having lunch with a philanthropist friend, trying (badly) to make a case for funding the nonprofit agency where I’ve worked…

A few things: November 2017

An actual family dinner conversation: SON:  [to MOM] “So, why’d you move all that stuff and mess up the big room?” MOM: “I need more space for my art and sewing and things. Maybe I’ll have people over, teach a class; who knows? I might even teach you to sew, so you can sew a…

The way we were.

It’s thankfulness season, time for the annual spilling of gratitude that began mid-month and will end when a wave of resolutions takes over, as if gratitude must be bound by beginning and end points. I don’t mean to sound cynical. Certainly I have many things to be thankful for. Among my many blessings – beyond…

A few notes: October 2017

A little more than a year ago, I started a new job, taking the helm of a well-established but fragile nonprofit agency dedicated to ending family violence. Someday I’m going to write about the experience; but today isn’t that day. Today I have something else in mind, keeping with the theme of sifting and sorting…

Sex, death, and middle age.

“I know you said you don’t want any of this, but I think you’ll actually want one thing,” he said, dropping some folded papers on the kitchen table.

It was a letter, five pages in long-hand, from my mother to my father, a few months before they married. When we had gathered the belongings from my mother’s garage years ago, the letter must have slipped from a box into an adjacent pile.