Re-Discovery

Long ago, a bunch of friends and I spent a Saturday moving all of my roommate’s and my things from one part of Seattle to another. It was a pretty typical move, complete with trips to the dump in someone’s borrowed minivan, and furniture crammed in someone’s borrowed truck. The crowning achievement, at the end…

Choosing To Imagine: An Ear of Corn & A Border Camp

I’m feeling very American, standing at my kitchen island and shucking corn. I hardly knew anyone with a kitchen island the whole time I lived in Germany, and the corn—well, that’s about as American as it gets. Because though I’ve spent plenty of summers running and hiking past cornfields in southwestern Germany, Europeans don’t eat…

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,…

Sometimes You Can Go Back Home

Winter Greenlake Saturday afternoon, I venture out to Trader Joe’s. There are two, about equidistant from our new house by Greenlake, but honestly neither is terribly convenient. I know this, because I’ve had this problem before. This EXACT problem. Because I grew up about a mile from where we live now. So I remember thinking,…

This My City

And having answered so I turn once more to those who sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer and say to them: Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning. from “Chicago,” Carl Sandburg It seems like…

In The Heights & Christmas Lights

I’m home! Where people come People go Let me show all of these People what I know There’s no place like home! … I’m home! Where it’s a hundred in the shade But with patience and faith We remain unafraid I’m home! You hear that music in the air? Take the train to the top…

Mini Pumpkins and Not-Forever Houses

It was a great day when I discovered that Trader Joe’s sells small pumpkins for 69 cents. America and Germany are tied in their veneration of pumpkins. In Germany, I could go to the market and find five kinds of pumpkins suitable for making various types of soup. That’s pretty much what you do with…

The First Day of No School

Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there, To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not, You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy. In order to arrive at what you do not know You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance….

Goodbye, Town.

From our last night in Kandern, Germany. (With apologies to Margaret Wise Brown.)   In the great green room There is a glowing world And a tiny spoon And a picture of kids, pointing up at the moon. There are two goldfish, and a bunny dish. And two paper stars, and a purple car. And…