Essays

Pedestrian Acts – Beautiful Things, River Teeth

We were late for an appointment. I wove through the afternoon crowd at a quick clip with my son and daughter, nine and six, following behind me like ducklings. Head down and shoulders bent, I had the posture of someone punched in the gut.

Memory Migration – Duck, Duck, Mongoose

Our hippocampus, scientists believe, is where our sense of location resides. The term is from the Greek hippa (horse) – campus (sea monster), because its shape resembles a sea horse. Somehow, those tiny animals that mate for life know how to stay together. in the vast ocean.

The Nature of Rowhomes – The Citron Review

I’ve been a rowhome dweller since birth, nestled in a block of houses woven together with wood and brick. I’ve never had all my walls to myself. Even in utero, I shared with my twin. So, I understand where sounds go, how they climb walls, seep through seams, and reveal secrets.

Write Those Essays: On Letting Go of Limiting Yourself – Brevity Blog

Four years ago, I attended an author event for Martha Cooley’s Guesswork: A Reckoning with Loss. At the time I was stuck. I was a novelist, who couldn’t make stuff up anymore. Years before I’d studied fiction in grad school and had workshopped with Cooley. Back then, I was adamant about being a fiction writer, who did not rely on autobiographical material to create, having no interest in writing about my life.

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Marble Canister, Large – Zone 3

Zone 3 Literary Journal, Spring 2021, Print publication

Your marble canister turned out to be just what I was looking for! The beautiful, natural marble is unmarred with worn symbols. Not one carve in its soft stone. Not one angel, one cherub, one cross or one tree. A simple cylinder, whose lid slides gracefully into place sealing the contents with the swallowed echo of a rock covering the mouth of a cave.

Crowning the Wild Thing – JMWW

SBT Gnashing

I wanted my mouth to be filled with cotton, the suctioning question mark hanging over my lip, where I could only nod.

Clinging – Longleaf Review

Weeds

I’m outside bent under our beloved weeping cherry tree—the thing I want to keep, its delicate pink blossoms already disappeared this spring—pulling bright green weeds. They have surrounded her trunk, pushing up between her roots. I’ve never encountered these strange invaders, these garden jellyfish that cling to me. Their tendrils grab at my flesh, suck and stick, leaving welts in their wake. They want to climb up into my arms as I clear every last one.

The Unexpected Gift: How Meditating Let Me Write Again

jodage photo
Photo by jodage

Writing was the last thing on my mind. I could not stop to write. More accurately, my mind could not stop to write. When there was actually time to sit down in a quiet room of my own and get to work, the noise in my brain was way too loud.

My husband made amazing meals every night. After his death, what would we do without him? – The Washington Post

dinner hour

Every night my throat would tighten and the pain in my chest would kick in. The panic attacking. Peter wasn’t coming home.

 

A Moment of Zen – Purple Clover

I remember a friend, a fellow smoker, saying that he liked smoking because it was the closest thing you could do to doing nothing. If someone asked you what you were doing outside sitting on a wall, you could say, smoking—a legitimate reason for being alone, for absenting yourself in the first place.

Still Talking – The Manifest-Station
manifest-station

When my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer, people—those who’d experienced the death of a close loved one and the therapist I’d started seeing—warned me that death would change my relationships. Those who I expected to be there for me might not be. Others, unexpected, would be.

In a Silent Way – Purple Clover

55-36538-silent-1472075263

During my phone interview before the five-day silent mindfulness retreat, I asked the teacher if anyone had ever lost her mind. She laughed and said no, as if no one had ever asked that question before. This was worrisome. Obviously, she had never spent time alone with my brain.

Dinner with Baba – Watershed Review

Photograph by Sarah Barr

Think of all those sepia-toned men and women with stiff collars and rigid backs appearing as if they were holding their breath, and perhaps they were. Think of lying in an MRI or CAT scan machine. Stillness is key for a true image.

Catching My Breath – r.kv.r.y quarterly literary journal

Beach

Why Coltrane? I wrote. Why tears? Perhaps Coltrane was speaking to me; he understood about the past and about what was lost. I realized that it wasn’t the music alone that made me cry. It was the breathing. It was me breathing. Me, after all that had happened, catching my breath.