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Writing

things i still hate

It’s 2:47 a.m. I have this overwhelming urge to write my hate list: things I tell myself shouldn’t bother me, but they do. The dog (above) is not my dog, but I’d like to pretend she is transcribing my thoughts and will curl up beside me on the bed, soon. a few of my least […]

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Writing

Lighting a Candle in the Church of Bradbury

Help us end this tired fiction. Invoke an arc to leap the page. The boorish villain all fume and rant cannot be saved. Salve our radiant burns. Spare us petulant rage. Graft hope into our pores dying to breathe again. Free our plot past states of hate and fears he will grab everything left and […]

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Writing

metamorphosis

A cockroach chows down on a shard of Mar’s bar stuck to a wrapper. My toes a few feet from the object of my phobia. My brain struggles to access the file on exposure therapy, to transform a feared object into a subject worth studying. This dreaded one is animated. And like me it’s striving […]

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Writing

I Feel Bad About Black People’s Necks

A plea to Nora Ephron Dear Nora, So far, 2020 is more harrowing than The Handmaid’s Tale, which became all the rage as a web TV series for reasons that will become clear. I limit my news intake and when I don’t, I take to an unmade bed, pull the comforter up to my chin. […]

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Writing

A 12-Step Approach to Anti-Racism for White People

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash Shawshank Redemption beckons us; the Big Book gives us a path “And if you’ve come this far, maybe you’re willing to come a little further.” That one line Andy writes to Red at the end of Shawshank has a lot of resonance for me, right now, as a white person. […]

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Writing

When The Only Thing We Need Is To Get Out of Our Own Way

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash Seek the questions. There is no right answer. James Thurber once said, “It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.” I believe in this 14-word philosophy as much as I believe in the Golden Rule, gravity, and, as Ram Dass said, “We’re all just walking […]

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Writing

If We Can Agree on One Thing: We’re Tired

Photo by Jodi Barnes Shaming and blaming are draining. They only gain us wider divides. Pretend we could put politics aside. (I know, just stay with me here.) Is it possible that Americans agree on anything? I think so. Even in a country that agrees we are living in an era of extreme political polarization, so extreme […]

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Writing

How To Change Despite Your Feelings

Photo by Ali Müftüoğulları on Unsplash First, relinquish your role as Manager of the Universe David called to say he and his wife were back from visiting our daughter and her family over the MLK weekend. Technically, David is my ex-husband; more accurately, he is my friend. There was once a time when our true friendship, post […]

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Writing

16 Things I Wish I’d Known at 16

Photo by RaeAnna Stephens, with permission an open letter from grandmother to granddaughter Hello there, self of 1975: 1. You are lucky to be here. Sure, you’ve been through some sad stuff already. Money’s scarce. Your parents have a lot of flaws, but they love you. Not always the way you want them to. They’ll […]

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Writing

Dichotomies are Dumbing Us Down as They Drive Us Apart

Photo by Jonathan Harrison on Unsplash Why multiple perspectives, identities, and stories are worth fighting for As I tuned into a podcast conversation between Elif Shafak and Chris Anderson, founder of TED, I was admittedly distracted. Until I tuned in. After some years of studying, teaching, and working on ways to live with and learn from conflict […]