Tag Archives: suffering

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

Posted in mothering | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in mothering | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment