How the Water Flows…. Or Doesn’t

A number of years ago, The New Yorker published a photograph of Marina Oswald the morning after Kennedy’s assassination. She was pinning diapers to dry on a clothesline. Last night, I was remembering this photo while solving my washing machine’s leaking cold water. While my mothering energy often heads toward the future – what will my older daughter do after high school graduation? will I make it to my younger daughter’s concert? – the nitty-gritty of daily life is really the grease in family wheels.

Case in point: my washing machine. Leaking hoses have now led to a clogged water filter (or so I believe….) Some days, family life seems one problem-solving exercise after another. This problem, in the scope of things, will crest and diminish. Via google, I’ll remedy the situation or find someone who will. More fodder for the creative grist mill; an aspect of modern family life I’ll master; one more piece of know-how my fingers have dirtied their nails upon.

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.

– Alice Walker



By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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