stories

for the information age

 

 

These bite-sized stories chronicle my efforts, both pitiful and successful,

to understand the world and our place in it.

 

My hope is that they help you do the same.

christmas motive - cross section of red

When women are together for any period of time, eventually, we talk about our bodies.


We talk about our skin, our knees, our hairso much about our hairhow we tame it, cut it, un-grey it. We talk about our breasts, our thighs, our stomachs. Vitamin D levels, libidos, hours of sleep. We discuss what we feed our bodiesour leafy green intake, wine consumption, how many ounces of water we drink. ­


We fret a good deal about bathing suitshow humiliating they are, but necessary, if swimming in public is in order. We discuss fabrics that might hold us in, push us up, veil or celebrate the intricacies of our bodies. We talk about our daughters’ bodieshow much like our own they are. For better or worse, we say.


We are baffled by our bodies. We wonder how to tend to them, be in them, transcend them, day after day. Our bodies run like clockwork, yet routinely shock us. They have been sick and healed, ugly or beautiful, rested and exhausted beyond measure. Our bodies devastate us, but also perform miracles so uncanny, so outlandish and delightful, we can only shake our heads in awe.


VERB. When you think you’re watching a show, but you’re actually asleep.


One summer, we rented a house by the bay. The house was full of spiders and the kitchen smelled of food gone bad. While my husband took the kids to the beach, I cleaned the refrigerator and vacuumed cobwebs from beneath the beds. I did laundry, folded tiny shirts and big threadbare towels. I swept sand out of the living room and cut watermelon into wet, red cubes. I wiped the cutting board clean. But no matter what I did, the place still smelled iffy.


The house did have an outdoor shower -- a crude spigot over a slatted cedar floor. Every evening, I stood under the warm spray, looked out at the bay and the peninsula of green scrub that jutted into the blue. A whole vacation can happen in a few delicate moments.