Tag Archives: suffering

Sign of Spring, Hardwick, VT, #7

My friend down the road emails a complaint regarding the break in my signs of spring project — because there isn’t any! she writes. True, snow returned yesterday. Enormous, lacy flakes that would have been beautiful December — say — rather than … Continue reading

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Still Here, Hardwick, Vermont

I’m reading Ruth Stone in bed when my daughter comes up the stairs in her jacket and says I must go with her to look at the moon. It’s nearly eleven. We leave the younger sister sleeping with the cats, … Continue reading

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One Life Instruction, via Mary Oliver

Last summer, we were eating dinner with friends who have young children, and two couples compared notes about their toddlers drinking dirty bath water. I laughed and assured them, yes, someday their kids would brush their own teeth. The real … Continue reading

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Summertime Chaos

Every June, I have the same vision that summer signifies a smoother sailing, a leveling out of our family life. Every July, I realize how mistaken is that cliche. By July, the garden is both flourishing and struggling. The house, … Continue reading

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Unwinding the Rope of Writing

Not long ago, I was at the county courthouse in Barre, Vermont, waiting for the final hearing of my divorce. That courthouse contains the ebb of human life, chock-full of misery and grief, and every time I’ve entered that immense … Continue reading

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Slow Learner

At breakfast at the hotel, my ten-year-old is mesmerized by fruit loops. I’ve never tried those, she says, looking at the rainbow bits yearningly. Go for it, I tell her. Nearing the end of the milky bowl, she lays down her … Continue reading

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Listening

Last evening, walking along our dirt road with my daughter, she chattered about our shadows in the lingering daylight, how the sun had merged us into one person, and we appeared to be one being with four legs and a … Continue reading

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Travels Around the Globe & Through the Centuries

Late into last night and early this morning – two periods of darkness – I read Caroline Alexander’s The Bounty, the travels of Captain William Bligh and his misfortunes. She writes of the exquisite natural beauty of Tahiti, and about the chaos … Continue reading

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Day of Hearts

In When Breath Becomes Air, recently posthumously published, Paul Kalanithi acknowledges the irony of his devastating cancer in his thirties; Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon unbelievably gifted in a multitude of ways, had striven to understand mortality before his diagnosis, to parse what … Continue reading

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Ready

A year ago, I finally wrote the query email that sold my book. With no internet access at home, I wrote the email in a corner of a public hallway in Montpelier, my back up against the literal as well … Continue reading

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