Hope Is The Light of A Smoke-Streaked Sun

Fire Glow

The world is burning yet the sun still shines. Smoke singes my nostrils, entangles itself in my unwashed hair. I drive the kids to school, an ominous glare in the sky. The traffic is as thick as the smoke. We are late. Then Sweet Child O’Mine comes on the radio and what else can we do but crank it up and belt it out?

This is life right now: we are all living and dying. We are singing and crying. We are hunkering down with buttered toast and cups of coffee and dancing wildly in the kitchen together to Rihanna. Continue reading “Hope Is The Light of A Smoke-Streaked Sun”

From Where I Sit

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“It’s a serious thing // just to be alive // on this fresh morning // in this broken world.”

 – Mary Oliver, Red Bird

From where I sit, the day is just beginning. Perched on the edge of my bed, I slip my bare feet into my sheepskin slippers, sinking my toes into the comforting fuzz. Mornings in Northern California start chilly, even in summer. I blink away the veil of sleep over my eyes and reach for my glasses. The dim room comes into focus. I stretch my arms over my head, roll my neck, catalog the snaps and crackles.

From where I sit, the space created when I unplugged from the usual beat of motherhood is about to fill. Today my two oldest girls come home from camp. The month they were away, the house was quiet and clean. There was less laundry, fewer dirty dishes, no sibling spats. Left with one child to mother, I scaled the symphony of our lives down to a neat little duet. In the afternoons, we played Go Fish and Zingo or watched Paw Patrol. Meal times were simple with just the two and sometimes three of us when my husband was home. My youngest daughter had us all to herself. We were rapt. It’s easy to dote on just one child. Continue reading “From Where I Sit”

Comfort Food: Remembering My Grandmother

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Grandma Helen with my nephew Ben and my daughters Ruby and Ella in 2007.

Leaning forward in the backseat of the taxi, nose pressed against the window, my breath fogging it up with each exhale. No car seats, no seatbelts, the bare-bones car rattling along FDR Drive, the East River black and glassy on the left, the enormous red and white Coca-Cola sign forever winking just across the water. The mid-morning sky is wintry gray, solid and low – nothing like the sun-kissed blue of my now home thousands of miles away in the southern hemisphere. Apartment buildings rise high one after the other. Green and white streets signs whip by: E. Houston, Delancey, Grand.

It’s 1975 and we are back in the States on Home Leave, the official company term for the six weeks we take at the end of each year to travel the world and visit family back in the U.S. Home. Leave. We are both coming and going, leaving and arriving, traveling between our temporary and forever homes, each anchored at one end of the world. Continue reading “Comfort Food: Remembering My Grandmother”

Favorite Selfies of 2015

This is one of my favorite prompts during December Reverb. Like most of us, I have a gazillion photos on my phone that I rarely go back and take a look at. This morning I perused every picture my lens captured this past year, experiencing the joy and serenity, humor and beauty of each moment all over again. Such a gift. Without further ado, here are a few of my favorite selfies from 2015:

The year started out with a winter beach retreat with these four lovely ladies, treasured friends all. Jan15Friends Continue reading “Favorite Selfies of 2015”

Letting Go, Creating Space and Wondering What’s For Dinner

Breakfast for dinner?

The clock creeps up on 5 p.m. The sky hangs gray and wintry outside the window. I’m sitting at my mirrored desk in the small alcove of my bedroom. When my older daughter needed her own room two years ago, I ceded my office to her, although it was never really an office. Work went on there, yes, but not officey work. More like creative and contemplative work, wondering work, the work of collecting and sifting and building; quiet work, whirling-words-in-my-head work and then when I needed and wanted, the fraught and delicious work of writing.

Now everything that is mine and meaningful from that room sits atop this desk, in the single drawer, pinned to the large cushioned board hanging on the wall. I am tap, tap, tapping on the keyboard, desperate to use my words, see them appear on the screen, before I have to go downstairs to make dinner. My three girls are endlessly hungry from 4 p.m. on. I have learned to serve dinner early, but that means a few minutes less for me, words flying. Continue reading “Letting Go, Creating Space and Wondering What’s For Dinner”

The Year’s Favorite Selfies

I am not a huge “selfie” taker but I did manage to either snap or be snapped in a few this year. They’re not artsy, just real life. Here are my favorites:

Getting ready to hit the ice rink.
IMG_4556 Continue reading “The Year’s Favorite Selfies”