Blank Days and the Bulletin Board

Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,even in the leafless winter,even in the ashy city.I am thinking nowof grief, and of getting past it; I feel my bootstrying to leave the ground,I feel my heartpumping hard. I want to think again of dangerous and noble things.I want to be light and frolicsome.I want to…

Things That Made 2021 Better

Though 2020 overall held more dramatic surprises, I can’t imagine I’m alone in the feeling that 2021 was not the year I thought it would be. Many large-scale hopes—like forgiven student loans or confidently executed travel plans—went unmet, but the year was peppered, at least for my small corner of existence, with sweet surprises. Though…

Writing Now

A work of art is good if it has sprung from necessity. Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to A Young Poet I once wrote a novel in a month. I wrote alongside thousands of other writers, all around the world, for NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. The goal of the project, on a large scale,…

Of Pictures & Paintings

A friend gave me a painting for my birthday. To be more precise, she gave me a card with a painting on it, but I love the painting—and have for a while now—and fully intend to frame the little card when I get a moment. Titled “Summer Abundance,” by Loré Pemberton, it depicts a woman…

Selva Oscura

Midway upon the journey of our life   I found myself within a forest dark,   For the straightforward pathway had been lost. from Inferno, Dante Alighieri I could say it started in June, when I dropped my husband off at the beginning of the race, on one of the hottest summer days Washington has ever seen….

Reading Ahead

“’Child,’ said the Lion, ‘I am telling you your story, not hers. No one is told any story but their own.’” C.S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy I have a confession. Given my identity as a seasoned lover of written words, there are a few aspects of my reading habits that would surprise people,…

Popsicles and Playdates

We’ve only been here for forty minutes, but I’m wondering if it’s time to go. I’ve already met a dozen other parents, wearing a name tag bearing both mine and my daughter’s name on it. I’ve squinted across the top of my mask at half-familiar faces, a couple I recognize from college and a woman…

Blankets, Books & Being All Here

My grandma has been crocheting baby blankets for more than thirty years. It sounds like a while, thirty years. For me, rewinding three decades shrinks me to a kid reading Little House on the Prairie under the covers, the inky drizzle of the western North Cascades rainforest pouring from the fir branches outside my window….

The History of Home

It’s not a long drive. I start on the old North Trunk Road, once one of the few paved routes leading out of Seattle to the north. This part of the road is trash-strewn and poverty-withered, and it makes me heart-sinkingly gloomy, even though I’ve traveled it, open-eyed, it for most of my life. I…

One Dress, 100 Days; One Body, One Life

I did a weird thing this winter. Like many people, I’ve noticed time passing differently in the last 13 months. Slower, perhaps. But more than the speed, time has slipped by without the usual markers. No graduations last spring, few weddings in the summer, no back-to-school in the fall and strange holidays to close the…