Room With A View
Thursday, a warm and sunny post-snowstorm day, while visiting my daughter and her family in Tarrytown, New York, I’d asked her if we could maybe take a walk along the Hudson. Her  eyes lit up: “Oh, yes,” she said, clearly
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How It Ends
After listening to WellingUp.net’s podcasts, my daughter questioned an important, fundamental decision: “Why did you begin the story with Rocco’s death,” she wondered. “Wouldn’t it be better to tell the story chronologically?” “No,” I answered. “I don’t think so.” And
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Tea For Two Or More?
May I be a boring old woman who talks about her health?  Thank you. Because what I’d like to say just might be helpful to you: Like many people my age, my cholesterol’s not been great and, like many people
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Muscle Memory
A wonderful surprise happened in 2018: I made two new, wonderful friends, both in their seventies, too. Over tea last week with one, a fellow peace activist and feminist, we discovered that although we’d grown up in very different parts
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One Small Thing
I am delighted to report that the Friends Journal will publish my “Sweet Baby Jesus” on December 1st! And that of the four choices I’d offered for the article’s accompanying illustration, they chose this mural! My favorite. Yes, it depicts
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My Public Charge Letter (First Draft)
To: Samantha Deshommes, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, D C 20529-29140 Re: DHS Docket No. USCIS-2010-0012 I am writing to express my opposition to this proposed
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Can We Hold All Of It?
Can we hold all of it? Can we both honor the war dead and wonder why, dear God, are we still engaged in endless war? Can we both use words like sacrifice and courage and service with conviction and sincerity
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“Where To Begin?”
In the process of retrieving a much-needed toy from my granddaughter’s stroller parked on my front porch, I’d stepped outside to discover a white, curly-haired, slightly chunky young man about to ring my doorbell. Grandma on a mission, I think he
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Be Peace
Saturday afternoon, I’d gone to the 70th birthday party for a dear, dear F/friend, hosted by her dear, dear husband. Reluctantly. Jet-lagged after a wonderful trip to LA, overwhelmed by my ever-growing To Do List, and, most critically, horrified by
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Was it The Light?
My mother died a week ago. So many, many things I could and want to say about her; I am moved, this morning, however, to tell this story: About a week before she died, in terrible pain, she’d said, “I
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Living Into What’s Next
Recently my heroine, Elizabeth Warren, declared that we would “use our pain to make power.” Transformation happens. And change is incremental. Week 1, post Kavanaugh’s confirmation, may I share my first, baby step towards empowerment? Here’s something I’m beginning to
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Like Water for Fish
Circling, circling Nick Cave’s soundsuits, I marveled how this African-American artist had transformed his rage, his fears, his searing pain into fabric and sequins, into cast-asides made sculpture, into crocheted body suits; into beauty. Horrified by Rodney King’s brutal assault
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Backlit
Having a loved one receiving “comfort care” is like being stoned—minus the munchies. Sometimes I forget and become absorbed or distracted or caught up in mindless routine but, mostly, my life glows, now, as if backlit. Ever aware that someone I love
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Thought and Prayers
As I write this, the day after another September 11th anniversary, a truly terrifying hurricane inexorably approaches the Carolinas. And like those painful days following the Twin Towers attack had felt, this morning I sense a collective pause as millions
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“Unidentified Artist”
My mother isn’t doing well. Despite pain meds and massages and ice packs and the tender, loving care she receives from her long-term-care facility’s excellent staff, she suffers. She weeps. She’s horribly confused. Sometimes she’ll tell me about her conversations with
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Can We Talk?
  Last week, after visiting a prisoner I see once a month, I was being escorted by a Department of Correction guard back to the prison’s entrance when I found myself engaged in a remarkable conversation! First, let me set
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Being Grammy
For the past week I’ve been “Grammy.” That this delightful grandma-derivation is both something my beloved granddaughter began calling me one day, but can also mean prize-winning musicality, makes me very happy. Being Grammy makes me very happy— in the same
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Tempus Fugit
This will be brief and, I hope, to the point: Several people have recently posted on Facebook that the extraordinary heat we’re experiencing all over the globe is the result of the carbon we collectively put in the air years
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Breaking Through (?)
This morning I was having a wonderful, searching conversation with a dear friend when I heard myself begin a sentence with, “I feel as though . . . ” and used that cautious, questioning tone I hear a lot from
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Bending That Arc A Tad (Maybe)
Yesterday afternoon I had the extraordinary good fortune to show up at two trials at the Moakley Courthouse, both trials dealing with immigrant justice. A former journalist, I would have preferred to offer a carefully-written, researched and cogent report about my experience. But
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Sitting This One Out
Sometimes I just want to sit on my front porch. Sometimes I don’t want to read my emails or The New York Times. Sometimes I don’t care what Jennifer Rubin has to say. Or Bill McKibben. Or Naomi Klein. Sometimes, especially after a
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Touching
When you visit someone in a Massachusetts prison, what you’re wearing must conform to a very long and very specific list of do’s and don’ts. Every month, I reread this list beforehand. Every month I always mess up one thing.
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Thank you, Blanche
If you, like many of my friends, believe that summer reading = murder mysteries, please add Barbara Neely’s amazing Blanche White series to your queue. (You may have already discovered these wonderful books and I’m late to the party!) What
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. . . Not A Sprint.
Today, apparently, because of relentless, vociferous, worldwide protest, 45 announced that his pernicious policy of separating children from their parents at our nation’s borders will discontinue. But don’t get too excited. He has also, in the past 24 hours, used
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