Sheltering-in-Place

When I was 21 I went to Europe on a five-week student tour with my best friends.  On our last day we were in England, and we went on a boat ride down the Thames to Greenwich.  I have several memories of that day, a few funny stories, conversations, photos, but there was one image … Continue reading Sheltering-in-Place

Little Fires Everywhere, a consideration of race and class in America

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng is a well-written, topical book, an engrossing read, and the basis for a brand-new series starring Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon on Hulu.  I want to tell you what I think about it, but let’s face it, I’m sure you can go online or pick up a TV guide … Continue reading Little Fires Everywhere, a consideration of race and class in America

The World That We Knew, a review

Alice Hoffman’s “The World That We Knew” is an achingly beautiful fairy tale about the Holocaust.  Her novel emphasizes the plight of children separated from their parents:  Jewish children and the offspring of Resistance Fighters hiding with false ID’s in convent schools; others roaming by themselves or in small groups in the forest, foraging for … Continue reading The World That We Knew, a review

Loving Harvey: some Christmas musings

I wrote and published this piece six years ago, shortly after the death of a close friend.  I came across it this week, and honestly, I'd forgotten that I wrote this as a Christmas meditation.  The idea of surprise is becoming a theme for me this December.  Life deals us all some pretty unpleasant surprises … Continue reading Loving Harvey: some Christmas musings

Book Review: Their Eyes Were Watching God

Hey, it's getting cold and rainy here:  perfect time to take refuge in books!  Enjoy! My edition of Their Eyes Were Watching God had plenty of literary and historical notes both fore and aft, but I’ll admit I got impatient and just started in on the novel itself.  I will tell you that the editors … Continue reading Book Review: Their Eyes Were Watching God

A Prayer for Healing Division

I first wrote and published this piece several years ago when Barack Obama was president and John Boehner was speaker of the house, and we were in the midst of a federal government shut-down.  It was a time of great anxiety, partisanship and divisiveness.  Things being what they are right now, I decided it would … Continue reading A Prayer for Healing Division

The Marine Mammal Center

Thirty-something years ago, I was hiking with friends in the Marin Headlands when we came across a cyclone fence enclosing a small yard.  Inside the yard were two or three Doughboy-like pools with seals and sea lions in them.  Some friendly signs explained that this was the yard of the Marine Mammal Center, a non-profit … Continue reading The Marine Mammal Center

Varina by Charles Frazier, a review

Varina is a beautiful book, because Charles Frazier writes some of the most beautiful, lyrical sentences of any author writing prose today.  His words force the reader to slow down and savor every lovely description, to open oneself to the metaphors and allegories hidden within. And yet, the book made me uncomfortable. I don’t know … Continue reading Varina by Charles Frazier, a review

The Changing Dreamscape

Ursula LeGuin wrote an amazing book called The Word for World is Forest back in 1972.  A friend gave it to me sometime in the 80s and it has haunted me ever since.  It’s something of an allegorical tale:  humans head off to exploit the fictional planet Athshe—to kill the men, rape the women, and … Continue reading The Changing Dreamscape

Janet vs The Barbarians

Written with my Thursday Writing Group with the prompts: Silver spoon, marked safe, no desire to join them, it hurts, out the door, an old guy in a dark suit and red tie, “step over here, little lady,” I don’t belong here, hey--how did you get in here?, back to the times, traffic moved along, the … Continue reading Janet vs The Barbarians