Category Archives: musings

My problem with ease

I love my word of the year, ease.  I’ve been thinking about it a lot.  I make it my intention in yoga classes, I think about it before I go to bed at night.  And every time the word crosses my mind, I have an uncomfortable realization that I have a problem with the word.  […]

Word of the year 2016

In 2011 and 2012 I chose words of the year.  Then, in 2013, 2014, and 2015, I struggled to do so.  The struggle made me realize that I hadn’t chosen words in 2011 and 2012 so much as been chosen by words.  Trust and light just bubbled up in my consciousness, made themselves known as […]

What I know

Our family resolutions, on New Year’s Eve, with our up-much-later-than-usual tree visible in the background. I’ve started the last few years writing about things I know, which is my version, I suppose of resolutions.  This year, Grace asked all of us to write down three resolutions on a paper star and hung all 12 of […]

Stillness in motion

I write a lot about the various lines of poetry and song that come to mind for me, apparently unbidden, and about the mysterious calculus that surely underlines this process.  Why am I thinking of certain words at certain times? Sometimes I can’t get specific lines of poems or songs out of my head.  For […]


The ragged-edged morning moon, 7:20am, 11/29/15, the first day of Advent I’ve written at length about light and darkness, and about this season of darkness.  Along with time’s breathless passage and the confounding nature of memory, I think you could call this one of my writing’s – and my living’s – central themes. The winter […]

My writing life, and our only true zero-sum resource

My favorite line from Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies, which I read this weekend.  I think you could say that a central task of adulthood for me has been stripping away whatever is unnecessary so that I can be sure to be present for the small and the daily, which is where I find life. […]


with my mother, my grandmother, and my great-grandmother, 1974 with my mother and my daughter 2002 I recently read – devoured, more like – Anne-Marie Slaughter’s book, Unfinished Business.  There are a great many points swirling around in my head but one of the foremost ones is in the acknowledgements. Slaughter mentions her first meeting […]

Cross-country metaphors

  A flashback photo for this post: me in 6th grade after a road race.  I see so much of Grace in this photo! I’ve written before about the metaphor that cross-country is and has been to me for parenting.  As Grace’s second season comes to a close, I’m thinking about another analogy that the […]

Start with what you know

I love Jeanette LeBlanc‘s writing.  All of it.  I particularly adored a piece of hers that I read recently, Start With What You Know.  She evokes so powerfully the writing life, the tension and urge and essence of the white hot need to come to the page.  I was inspired to share my own list […]


I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s contentment that I’m after.  Not happiness, simply, but contentment.  It’s taken me a long time to get to this, but the truth is that “happiness” has never felt like my goal.  Furthermore, it seems impossible to attain.  I could never wish for a permanent smoothing out of my […]