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Too Much Stuff

Do I own the stuff or does the stuff own me? I never meant to be an acquirer. Many things have just dropped in on me. Stuff makes some folks happy. But I feel alternatively insulated and hemmed in. How do you know you don’t need it? Isn’t it reassuring to know it’s there…?

What Is Chanukah All About?

And this, this little potato, really this is the secret of Chanukah. How the perfectly ordinary, so common among us, shines with greatness in the lights of hope, happiness, family, food and song.

Where’s the Bitch?

She could close every comment, every argument. Last words were her specialty: last words and stage whispers. She could keep a list a mile long. She could drink scotch and laugh with the men. And with the Bitch, I was funny and glib. With her, I had a context, a ‘tude, a style. With the Bitch boa wrapped around my shoulders, nothing could hurt me. My stride was, sexy, witty, and impermeable.

Parents

When my parents were still here for me, I asked and avoided, I listened and ignored. When I became a parent, all that programming poured from my firmware and wanted control. Would I live the legacy or change it? Would I be blind? conscious? fearful? or defiant? I retraced those steps right down to the words and deeds that had made me shudder a few short decades before–”because I said so” or “you just have to do it, you don’t have to like it.”

Peanut Butter Neglect

First, the sandwich bag was all wrong. It could be any plastic bag that found its way into the house, usually cradling my Dad’s stiff shirt or the Tribune. These bags were huge, unwieldy and, by the time they reached the cafeteria, sticky inside and out. The sandwich didn’t float out— often the bag would have to be removed from the sandwich.

People

… a lot of those people reach a certain status. I’ve been sharing these streets and performances, this growth of our city and the electronica that can connect and separate us for twenty and thirty years. It’s really something.

The Bronze Goddess

The life she crafts—unconsciously and with fierce determination—is Goddess at her core. She is that composite we never really see in our lifetime, that we often don’t trust to be there—that vast well-spring we might not even dare to be. But we are here, anyway, in spite of ourselves or with calculated assertion.

Writing Ephemory

I’ve been working on and off with the material for Ephemory since my Mother died in March 2010. I always knew I needed to work with my family’s legacy of immigration and NAZI persecution. As Mom’s last breath left her, I finally felt the charge—both permission and mandate—for me to write this. For all the [...]

You are the last one left

Are you a weathered post supporting more weight than any trespasser has a right to expect? What is the last feeling of the bygone era, the last first-person blessing or curse to be landed against a too well-known opponent? Mom, does the emptiness of loss cast a sidelong knowing-sort-of glance, a nod of recognition even, before he pulls away yet another rug?

Berta contemplates Carole’s leaving

Family is so important. It’s where you come from. It’s who will care about you, no matter what. We all need that. We are lucky when we have that and now, my own daughter to be torn away from me by these terrible times. Why should she suffer and be called names and have stones thrown at her. But why should she have to leave to have a decent life.