Leafless

The sunsets got better in the winter. Those years after college—busy ones that I mostly remember for their early mornings in the classroom, not their sunsets—I used to run at dusk. I’d come home from school, bone-tired from a job that was physically and emotionally draining, and grudgingly put on my shoes to go running,…

Of Board Books and Birthday Questions

We have a lot of board books. If you have no children, perhaps you can’t appreciate what “a lot” of board books looks like. It’s not ten, not twenty. It is, in fact, a whole crate of cardboard-paged little books. They are glossy and brightly-colored, often rhyming. Only a few of them tell stories, most…

Running For Fun

If I were more mathematically inclined, I could plot the direct relationship between the blueness of the sky (assuming that grey-blue is the continuum I insist it is, and not a cloudy-sunny binary that others demand) and the density of crowds walking, running, biking, stroller-pushing and rollerskating around Greenlake. It’s the second busiest city park…

Text Messages

The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, begins like many good tales, and plenty of bad ones, with an introduction. We don’t meet the brothers themselves, the three protagonists whose complicated relationships with their father provide most of the conflict, but instead the Karamazov patriarch. He is, to put it mildly, not the hero of this…

Overalls

Why yes, I do remember the last time I wore overalls. Thanks for asking. I was in the tenth grade. We were performing, for reasons best known to my tenth-grade Language Arts teacher, an original play. In said play was a dance number, choreographed to an NSNYC song. We all performed. We all wore overalls with…

Twenties Questions

With many recognitions dim and faint,  And somewhat of a sad perplexity,  The picture of the mind revives again:  While here I stand, not only with the sense  Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts  That in this moment there is life and food  For future years. William Wordsworth, from “Tintern Abbey” It takes me…

Grown Up Summer

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet “What’s your favorite season?” I’ve asked this question countless times, to kids all over the place,…

Build Houses & Plant Gardens

Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce.Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease. Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile,…

Appreciation

I went to ninth grade afraid.  Like many students who leave Christian schools, I entered the “real world” (in my case public high school) with a head full of warnings. I was somewhat apprehensive that in my first month of school I—a fourteen-year-old honors student, a decent violinist and a mediocre volleyball player—would be ridiculed…

Honest Doubt

          You say, but with no touch of scorn,           Sweet-hearted, you, whose light-blue eyes           Are tender over drowning flies,  You tell me, doubt is Devil-born.  Alfred, Lord Tennyson, from “In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 96” I’ve never been a huge fan of Mom Blogs. (Yes, I know that they’re…