. . . Things I Cannot Change
I visit a man in “Seg.” (as in Segregation) Aka “The Hole” or “Solitary Confinement.” (Once, on the phone, while making the required appointment to visit this man, I’d carelessly used the word “Isolation” and was quickly and firmly corrected.)Read more.
“Excellent For The Times”
Yesterday, spurred on my my oldest daughter’s curiosity about my beloved “Grandma,” I spent a couple of hours in the Schlesinger Library perusing Florence Moulton Mirick Wild’s alum folder. (Some people go to spas for self-care; I go to theRead more.
“Carved In Stone”
Sometimes I visit an art museum as if expecting to be tested. I study everything, read everything, skip nothing, dutifully walk in the direction the exhibit designers want me to go. Other times I randomly stroll through galleries until a color,Read more.
Let’s Talk About Optics 2
Not a visual person and all too willing to lose myself in whatever movie I’m watching, at one point in my life having a daughter-as-set-designer changed how I see a film. Sitting in a movie theater I remind myself: “Someone’sRead more.
Let’s Talk About Optics
Enough with the pussy hats! Okay? If we’re really going to smash the patriarchy, my sisters, if all who identify as women are truly going to stand, side by side, we have to do what that patriarchy rarely does. WeRead more.
It Just Wells Up, Right?
Sometimes it just hits me: my easeful life is made possible by the labor of thousands, millions of men and women working under conditions I cannot even imagine. Sometimes it just hits me: life is grotesquely unfair. (Yet I willRead more.
Kamala Harris for President! (Oprah for Vice Prez)
A joke my Lynchburg, Virginia high school classmates used to tell; maybe they still do: Didja hear about the guy who died on the operating table but the doctors brought him back to life? Yeah. he saw God. She’s black.Read more.
New Year’s Affirmations:
May good people walk beside you. May you find strength and joy in community. May you receive “Good Will, Support, and Healing”* from others. May other living beings guide you, teach you, sustain you. May you find your way.Read more.
“This Turning Year”
Pretty sure I learned about the winter solstice from a textbook—in sixth grade, maybe. Dimly I can conjure up the rudimentary, line-drawing illustration that accompanied the text. I’m betting “solstice” had been on that week’s spelling test, too. Sound familiar?Read more.
“Right There I’m Sort Of Glued Together”
Last week, doing warrior pose in yoga class, I remembered how, right after Trump had been elected, my usual teacher, Annie Hoffman, was out of town—so we’d had a sub that day. A wonderful teacher, the sub had prepared a themed class;Read more.
Caught in another traffic jam, my husband and I agreed: “Right this minute, half the people in Greater Boston are sitting bumper-to-bumper, the other half work on the construction projects that block all this traffic.” Today, walking home from EastRead more.
My first day at my new, Lynchburg, Virginia high school, a classmate confronted me: “You’re a Yankee, aren’t you?” In a baby-blue shirtwaist, a white cardigan with pearl buttons draped across my shoulders, fourteen-year-old me nodded. “I hate Yankees,”Read more.
Between the Lines
Saturday after sunset, driving back to Massachusetts from Vermont, it began to rain. I hate, hate, hate driving in rain and dark!* But even more, as I explained to my husband—who’d driven the north-bound trip that morning—I hate being “anRead more.
Sunday morning found me, earrings and bracelets and watch-free, being escorted through the long and eerily empty corridors of the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center. Loathe to say anything that could in any way negatively impact the inmate I was about to visit, IRead more.
It Goes On
Like many “Villens,” Ralph Hergert had dual citizenship: Somerville and Cambridge. So it was not surprising that although a long-time, pivotal, and much-loved Somerville activist, Ralph’s memorial on Saturday was held at Old Cambridge Baptist Church, his spiritual home inRead more.
No, that isn’t a tree growing in our driveway. That’s a Norway maple branch which broke off during Sunday night’s fierce winds and, miraculously, hit no one, nothing as it crashed to the ground. Tilting backwards, that impressively thick branch—andRead more.
“Despairing for the world,” I spotted her just as she about to get off the 85 bus. In a white, lacy, off-the-shoulder blouse and no-nonsense dark skirt, a black, canvas bag touting the name of whatever tech/Kendall Square conference she was aboutRead more.
Me 2 (Duh)
While seated in a waiting area at LAX Monday morning, two women of a certain age and class and race arrived at Gate 23. Loudly. Grandly. As if making an entrance at a cocktail party. As if they were theRead more.
Our Thoughts and Prayers
At a wedding Friday, I met a young woman working in a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesvos—aka Lesbos. Because I’d asked her to, she contacted me Sunday (in the midst of packing, no doubt), with info asRead more.
One of my neighbors teaches at Harvard Divinity School, a fifteen minute walk. So I often see him pass by on his sidewalk commute. Yesterday morning and, again, today, he walked past slowly, head bowed, his tall, gangly body foldingRead more.
There was a time in my life when I told myself,”If I/we can just through this , I/we will be just fine.” This went on for years. Slowly it came to me: there’s always a crisis. Stop saying “If IRead more.
Years ago, for about a year, I was my Quaker meeting’s First Day School Coordinator, i.e., the principal of a pre-K—12 school open one hour a week and taught by volunteers. Dimly, very dimly, I understood that, for example, whenRead more.
Every morning I begin my day with a cup of coffee, my glasses, my journal, and a pen. Whenever possible, I sit on my deck— even when, as it has been this past week, so cold I need toRead more.
Thank you, Brother West
“I am here because somebody loved me,” Cornel West declared at last week’s Harvard Divinity School convocation. And I’m sure I wasn’t the only person hearing his words who didn’t immediately conjure up sopping-wet, helping hands reaching out to someone inRead more.