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“let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences” Sylvia Plath

Grief and the End of the World — in Quito, Ecuador

The sting of a fly, the Congolese say, can launch the end of the world. How simply things begin. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver Even though we are still lumbering through this pandemic — this pandemic that all simply began with one itty bitty bat (or an itty bitty pangolin, or an itty bitty lab…

Don’t Be an A-hole. Read a Book.

When he needed to calm his mind, he opened a book. Any book. He had never failed to feel refreshed, even if the book was no good. The Night Watchman, Louise Erdrich The skies are gray today. We are enduring another pandemic weekend lock-down, unable to leave our apartment. I look out at the other…

I’ve Had an Accident. So May You All.

I always thought it was what I wanted: to be loved and admired. Now I think perhaps I’d like to be known. The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah Listen 8:09 Never have I resonated with this more than now. (OK, well, maybe with the exception of middle school because that was a complete nightmare of no one…

Unlock the House. And Get Out.

I have refused to live locked in the orderly house of reasons and proofs. Mary Oliver, “The World I Live In” Listen 8:15 Living locked — anywhere — sounds pretty icky to me. Say those two words together: live locked. Does that alliteration just punch you right in the tooth? It does for me. It’s…

Yet Another Storm — in Quito, Ecuador

The sky is blue, or the rainfalls with its spills of pearl. “Spring,” from Owls and Other Fantasies, Mary Oliver Well it’s been spilling pearls here in Quito lately. So many pearls, drops upon pearly drops. We are officially in rainy season. I see it outside; I feel it in my heart. Sometimes it feels…

Beasts of Burden

The last mist fell away, And under the trees, beyond time’s brittle drift,I stood like Adam in his lonely gardenOn that first morning, shaken out of sleep,Rubbing his eyes, listening, parting the leaves,Like tissue on some vast, incredible gift. Mary Oliver, “Morning in a New Land,” from No Voyage and Other Poems, from Devotions Listen…

Despair and Geraniums in Quito, Ecuador

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese,” From Dream Work Listen 5:37 Such a heavy word, despair. Such a heavy, sad, hopeless, lonely word. Tell me about your despair, Friend, and I will tell you mine. Out earlier today on the important errand of getting still-warm, 22-cent…


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