Strength In Striking Root

In college, I read a lot of poems. Long and short, rhyming and not, epic and lyrical and imagist, poems dashed in and out of my academic life for four years (and still several years before I would begin to actually enjoy them). With the great abundance of good poetry in my life at the…

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Dans ses écrits, un sage Italien Dit que le mieux est l’ennemi du bien. In his writings, a wise Italian says that the best is the enemy of the good. Voltaire I don’t remember quite when I decided that a flawless report card was going to be my “thing.” I didn’t go to elementary school…

No Bad Weather

There’s a saying, which I’ve heard attributed to half a dozen different cultural origins, that claims something to the effect of “There is no bad weather; just bad clothing.” The meaning is clear enough: dress yourself well, and every day is a good day to be outside. It’s that easy. It used to be, anyway….

Things That Made Life Better This Year: 2019 Edition

When we were missionaries, I used post monthly News, Thanks and Prayers updates here. With those a thing of the past, and our Christmas card just a handful of photos, I’ll take this annual Favorite Things list to fill in the blanks left by my {admittedly} selective posts. 2019 was a year unlike any other,…

Being Meg

I wasn’t alive in 1868, so I can’t be certain, but I have a theory. Before we sorted ourselves into Hogwarts houses, becoming reluctant Hufflepuffs or defiant Slytherins, or used the characters of  Friends to describe our twenties, there were four women who defined us: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. I don’t know if women…

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…