Random Acts of Beauty, Kindness
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Sometimes—especially now—a news story is not the news story. Sometimes what seems significant isn’t. All the time, stuff just happens and making meaning of all that stuff can be exhausting and confusing. (And, must
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Show not Tell:
“Enemies Should Know That Syria Will Never Fall—Assad/Syria Will Never Fall—Assad” by Nazgol Ansarinia, 2012. A newsprint collage currently on exhibit at the Katonah (NY) Museum of Art’s current exhibit: “Long, Winding Journeys: Contemporary Art and the Islamic Tradition. (I took these
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“CONTEXT!”
Dr. Lynda Woodruff, my mentor and friend, died last week. Hearing this awful news, I registered both gut-punched grief and that my first question—Did she die because she’d received inadequate healthcare?—came to me only because I’d been schooled by Lynda.
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Who Is My Neighbor?
Maybe another foot of snow due tomorrow, maybe another opportunity to use our “neighborhood snowblower.” After a very snowy winter a couple of years ago, a bunch of us chipped in to buy one. The next year? It collected dust
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In Plain Sight
New England weather such as it right now, I’m reading more. Needing to replenish my books-to-read queue, between storms I stopped by The Book Rack, a funky, used-bookstore in Arlington, MA. Perusing its chock-a-block “Classics” section, I spotted a paperback edition of
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“There You Have It!”
For decades I’ve been following a “kamish broit” recipe I got from an ex-husband’s step-mother, Sarah Lohman. (Got that?) These walnut biscotti are delicious and ridiculously easy to make. So, Friday, company expected and running late, I automatically pulled out
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(Almost)-Spring Cleaning
Sunday, chilled, rainy, very windy, I’d almost wished there’d been a fireplace fire in the meetinghouse fireplace. Surely a hearty blaze would brighten my spirits?  But, no, I realized. If there were to be any cheering up going on that
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. . . 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.)
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“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 the
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“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,
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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’s
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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. We
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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 will
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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.
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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.  
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“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?
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“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;
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Lost
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 East
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“I’m Sorry”
  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,”
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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 “an
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Being Human
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, I
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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 in
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Near-Hit*
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—and
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“I Praise”
“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 about
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