Category Archives: musings


In early January, Matt was showing me something to do with his leg.  He got onto his knees and turned around.  Just the mere fact of that caused me to draw breath: a few months earlier, he’d been immobile, flat on his back, with a good but attenuated prognosis. My fingers moved unconsciously to the […]

to see as many chips of blue sky as we can bear

Maybe this is what grace is, the unseen sounds that make you look up. I think it’s why we are here, to see as many chips of blue sky as we can bear. To find the diamond hearts within one another’s meatballs. To notice flickers of the divine, like dust motes on sunbeams in your […]

word of the year 2017

Sometimes, I choose a word of the year.  Sometimes, I don’t.  It depends on whether a word presents itself to me in the days and weeks leading up to the end of a year. My 2016 word was ease, which felt both ironic and essential as the year unfolded not at all easefully.  In 2011, […]


I never saw the movie Boyhood.  I’m afraid to, honestly.  I worry it will be sadder than I can handle.  I remember years ago, at dinner with a friend and her husband, the movie came up.  I admitted that I was terrified about the heartbreak that would result if I saw it. “What happens, something […]

Darkness visible

These are the darkest days.  It is fully dark by 5pm here in Boston.  And when we wake up, it’s still dark.  The days are short, but they feel long at the same time.  Yet, strangely, I don’t find this depressing.  I have written before about my very specific memory from December 1996, working one […]


Saturday evening, sunset from our hotel room, Florida.  I shared another shot of this sunset on Instagram. Whit and I were studying vocab words recently and we came upon the word “creed.”  He asked me what my creed was. Without thinking too much, I immediately answered, “My creed is to pay attention.” He looked at […]

Rethinking ease

Right now, when I think about the word I chose as my word of the year, I feel a grudging sense of oh, yeah, now that’s ironic.  Life right now is not replete with ease.  I was surprised to see, when I went back to see what I’d written about ease so far in 2016, […]

Early October

Photo on Sunday morning, doing errands with Grace and Whit in Boston.  We also stopped by one of my favorite buildings, the Boston Public Library.  I’m writing this on Saturday afternoon.  Whit is doing homework in his room, down the short hall from my office.  Matt is reading on the first floor.  Grace is at […]


I have been thinking a lot about the idea of homesickness.  It is an emotion I’m familiar with, but when I ponder the feeling more deeply, I find myself confused: what is home for me?  I’ve written at length about my peripatetic childhood and the slipperiness that engenders in my own sense of home.  Now, […]

who are we?

I have been thinking a lot about this question of who we are.  Possibly precipitated by these these quotes which presented themselves to me over and over again this summer (reminding me, yet again, that there’s some inchoate logic behind what we think of when we think of it). Tell me who you love and […]