The American Legacy

My daughter crinkles paper, blows on the tree to make it live, festoons herself with silver. So far she has no use for gifts. What can I give her, what armor, invincible sword or magic trick, when that year comes? How can I teach her some way of being human that won’t destroy her? I […]

May You Live in Interesting Times

This is not a great time to be a sensitive person walking the world. I’ve read a number of lovely blog posts that are clinging to hope, despite the dark and interesting times that our new administration seems to have put us in.  I’ve read poems and shared in the general outcry of the many, […]

The Dark Days of Winter

These are dark days. I mean that literally and figuratively; the winter solstice is, after all, upon us.  I am headed towards Manhattan in a grey and bleak morning that has barely lifted into day.  It’s raining, just enough to make me seem strange without an umbrella, but not enough to inspire me to take […]

The Loss of Civility

There’s a new coffee shop by the train station that opened over the summer.  In a world of Starbucks and Walmarts, it is a welcome relief to the monotony of grande cups and jazzy backgrounds.  It is in a tiny space, which previously belonged to a failed news stand and, before that, a coffee stand […]

Bombs in Manhattan

It is Monday morning, on the sort of fall morning where rain comes by in unsuspecting gusts, drenching any commuter that was brave enough to put their umbrella away during the brief periods of dryness. On the train, freed from the drama of the rain, we are hurtling towards Penn Station, racing past the sleepy […]

Gunshot Confessions

In 1992, my mother really liked Denzel Washington. Like, really really liked him.  She liked him enough that when a movie studio was recruiting for extras for a scene in The Pelican Brief, she signed herself right up.  To our great amusement, she was assigned to be in a crowd protesting gun control. I can’t […]

A Syrian Crisis

I was thrown into a whirlwind of self-doubt last week, after seeing a single photograph.  If you’ve paid attention to the news at all, you already know the one — a drowned toddler, clothed in vibrant primary colors, washed up on a beach.  You probably know the story, too; another migrant family, desperate to escape […]

The Boston Marathon

It is a Tuesday, the day of the week I will always associate with terrorist attacks, and my country is once again reeling from the attack on the Boston Marathon. Although violence against the unwary public tends to hit me hard, I find that I am particularly angry about this one. (What have we become, […]

The Protests

This week was an extraordinarily challenging and draining one. I am very glad that it is Friday night and that I get two days to try and recharge my batteries before we go down to Virginia for Thanksgiving. We had some excitement at the office on Thursday, when the Occupy Wall Street protesters decided to […]

Memory

It’s September 11th, ten years after the event. There’s so much that’s been written about this that I couldn’t dare, even if I wanted to. But I find that I don’t want to – that day was horrible enough to live through the first time. Perhaps it’s cowardly of me, but I can’t stand to […]