Of Daughters and Better Songs

I am sixteen going on seventeen I know that I’m naïve. Fellows I meet May tell me I’m sweet And, willingly, I believe! Richard Rogers, from “Sixteen Going On Seventeen” We begin our morning with music. Not always, of course—I’m no Mary Poppins. I’m imperfect in practically every way. But today, songs were a scheme…

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…

Rolling Over

A newly-engaged Timmy and Kristi, February 2013 Six years after I got engaged, I’m awake before dawn in a too-bright room, in a house I just moved into last night, listening to a baby roll over. To be accurate, I’m listening to my daughter, who is both proud and a little annoyed that she’s just…

On Entering A Bookstore In My Thirties

All the people you could have been had you chosen differently—they haunt the bookstore alongside the person you became and could still become. Steve Edwards It’s been ages since I was alone in a bookstore. I’m not sure I remember the last time, actually, though to be perfectly accurate I’m not even alone now. But…

An Eclipse and An Inauguration

My daughter wakes up at 9:00 PM. I hear her upstairs, stirring, waking up from what she must assume is a nap, in her pajamas, in the dark. Someday, I’ll put her to bed and she’ll just stay asleep. But not today. Oh well. Anyway, I’m hardly busy. I’m literally lying on the couch in a…

What Mary Didn’t Know

Though I stand by what I wrote in this post from two years ago, “What Mary Knew,” it’s not the whole story. Read that, if you haven’t, then come back here to the follow-up, as I explore one of my least favorite Christmas songs, about one of my favorite women ever.  And His father and mother…

Of Purple Parties and Fitting In

“The people you love will change you The things you have learned will guide you And nothing on Earth can silence The quiet voice still inside you And when that voice starts to whisper Moana, you’ve come so far Moana, listen Do you know who you are?” from Disney’s Moana The dining room windows are dark,…

Lest We Forget

Take up our quarrel with the foe! To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high! If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields. from “In Flanders fields,” John McRae I was twenty-five years old before I heard of…

Using the Car

I’ve never much liked driving. I realize that this probably puts my American citizenship at risk—a dangerous thing to do at the moment—since automobile affection seems stitched into the fiber of our national being. We’re the nation of the Model T, of giant parking lots and the infinite chain of interstates, of drive-ins, drive-throughs and…

The Time To Be Slow

Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening, like a tree which doesn’t force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lay before them,…