Beans

I didn't grow up eating beans. Well, canned green beans were presented on a plate, overcooked and gray. Unseasoned lima beans, pasty in color and consistency, were thrust upon us every couple of weeks. Canned peas, which I could barely tolerate. But not garbanzo beans, or black eyed peas, or black beans, small red kidney... Continue Reading →

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Grief

We're going to visit one of his favorite places tonight, the sequoia grove Dudley and I found in one of our first exploring adventures here, and miss the jangle of his tags and the swish of his feathered tail up the switchback trail.

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I Love That I Suck

A person who makes a decision to share their imperfections, to open themselves intentionally to the possibility of failure and ridicule is taking a true risk. That takes courage.

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Midnight Mass

I remember the year I was old enough to go to Midnight Mass. My uncle was in town for Christmas, and he took me -- just me, no siblings -- to the darkest, most mysterious Mass of the whole year. I was probably 10, the youngest of five, and all of my siblings were now... Continue Reading →

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Pajamas

My pajamas smell likemy dresser of old clothes and wood and my parents' house where the dresser stoodgathering t-shirts and jeanssweaty softball uniforms and acrylic sweatersboxes of love notespassed from my boyfriend in high schoolpins from corsages and forgotten petalsa diary from 1982.It gathered dust and supported book stacks,in imperious federal styleuntil it came to... Continue Reading →

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Ladies, a Word . . .

It's time for women to call out the shitty back-stabbing behavior of their fellow women, the behind-the-hand whispers, the opaque negotiations that exile the less powerful and truly stand with and for each other.

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Anew Hope

I sit for a moment in the sun, breathing its warmth into the corners of my lungs. It was a good, hard three hours, and I'm ecstatic, filthy and exhausted. It's planting season, and the next six months hold mysteries I haven't even contemplated. But what will come will be managed.

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Iced Milk

Having contact with people who will listen without trying to convince me that my experience could not possibly have been as bad as I claim, who then have their own stories that line up in tidy parallels to mine makes me feel like I'm suddenly whole, real, verifiable.

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Irresistible

My dog Dudley deserves a day of recognition. For his loyalty, sweetness, constancy, his Frito-smelling toe-beans, the quietly derpy look on his face, and his endless neediness. He's older and slightly mellower, but still gets very excited every time I select my pants for the day. He knows on sight which pants are Adventure Pants,... Continue Reading →

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Boxes of Dust

It no longer matters what my life would have been like with my parents' involvement. My "mistakes", in their eyes, comprised my life choices, and I'm where and who I am now because of those choices.

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Family-Sized Hole

Right now, there are slips of memories flitting through my head, shapes and shadows of people I've known. There must be some key to keeping those people fresh in your life, in your mind, but I have never known it.

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My Magic 8 Buddha

Yesterday was Madeleine L'Engle's birthday. Her work was formative for me as a young girl, first as a reader (her most famous main character's name is Meg, after all), and then as a writer. My first short story when I was young was about time travel. Her characters and storylines gave me hope. She wrote... Continue Reading →

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Hard Reset

Trump is a symptom of this infection rampaging through our national biology, a boil on the ass of our humanity. He needs to be cauterized.

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Circle of Hope

I became comfortable with deleting "friends" who showed themselves unwilling to self examine, to evaluate their beliefs in the face of contradictory evidence. As my wise friend Deb says, "bless and release."

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Rigged to Benefit Mediocrity

People like Kushner and Barrett have gotten where they are because the system that's in place rewards their specific mediocrity; white, inherited wealth, actively participating in the oppression of non-white, non-male people trying to rise through the system that was solely designed to crush them

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Safe as Churches

But the discouraging reality of Church and church has spread its roots throughout my foundational understanding of the world. The last four years has been my undoing, an unraveling of my belief in people of faith altogether.

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A Life Without Want

There's this equation in my head that shows gratitude and want cancelling each other out; all I have to do to live a life without want is to be grateful for what I have. But how do I ask for what I need?

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Call to Account

Do you know any employer who hires somebody and lets them do and say whatever they want on company time? This guy is on company time every second of the day. That's his whole job.

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Front of Mind

Watching the degradation of the fail-safes designed to prevent total collapse of our system of government has destroyed our sense that everything will be okay "no matter what."

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Becoming an OI Dad

Another repost from the old OI blog, this one about my husband, from six years ago. My daughter's father is my ex-husband. When I left him 12 years ago, she was five years old, and very emotionally attached to her father. She was too young to understand what was going on, too young to see the... Continue Reading →

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Green Eyes

I've waited in many surgical waiting rooms, nervously sorting the contents of my purse or reorganizing a file box I brought just to release some of the tension that builds when getting my child ready for surgery. My projects never lasted as long as the surgeries, due to my excessive, jangled speed and the way surgeries... Continue Reading →

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Merry Birthday

The child in this story turns 28 today. She's finished college and is working as a political activist (which is a real job with benefits and everything!) I continue to be overjoyed with her. --Ed.  As many times as I've told the story of my daughter's birth, it appears I've never written it down. Tonight,... Continue Reading →

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Home Sick

Dear Class of '86, There's a reunion coming up. I don't have any idea of how long it's been--if I'd learned any math, I might know--but I also just don't care enough to get out the slide rule. I bring it up because its approach has inspired some vigorous conversation, which has, in turn, caused... Continue Reading →

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Father’s Day

Since my father died, I've been surprised at the freedom of thought and speech that I feel. We weren't in contact except for the occasional letter back and forth, but I was keenly aware of his presence in the distance, a governing force on my thoughts. Don't go there, the little internal voice would say,... Continue Reading →

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The Joke

I'm no good at telling long jokes, partly because I forget some detail that makes it funny, but mostly because I am overcome with laughter before the punchline. I prefer short jokes (my favorite: a baby seal walks into a club. It's awful. Makes me laugh every time.) But there's one long joke I can... Continue Reading →

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For my Children

Hey kids. Dad's sleeping. He needs the rest, and he's not feeling good. So if you're going to call him, do it tonight, okay? While he's sleeping, let me tell you some things about him you probably don't know. Or maybe you do, I don't know. But today's definitely the day for it. A long... Continue Reading →

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They All Laughed

Tim and I have an anniversary coming up. It's not one of the big milestones, but as we were calculating the years we've been married and the years we've been together as a couple, we realized we've been together almost 20 years. Okay, so we're four years short of 20 years. But I was hit... Continue Reading →

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