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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.


In unconnected hours face-to-face, drenched in the ice-water of failed intimacy, I met loneliness–a very different thing from alone-ness. That loneliness withered my strong right-side under worm-eaten embraces, preoccupied hearts, and habitual sex.


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.”


… 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.


I couldn’t afford the way memory ransacked my heart and left an airless cell pushing against my windpipe and the corners of my eyes.

So my memories turned to cold water, rushing in through the gash the iceberg left. An iceberg—there’s a devil. How wicked to hide, a towering city of thoughtless cold beneath the water’s surface–invisible and unknowable.

What is a country?

(Carole’s father, Rudy, musing in 1937, Germany) Is my country a part of my blood, my bones, is it the safe feeling under my feet? Or is it the place my family has lived for generations—even after it strips away our rights and treats us hatefully? What identifies me as German? Is it my culture, [...]

Time to move Mom

In Ephemory, Ruth is helping her Mother, Carole, pack her apartment for a move to the assisted living facility. Handling her memorabilia triggers the memories that Ruth is longing for. What precedes the decision to move Mom?


Each time we take out a memory it is put away changed, no matter how clean our fingers are. We never wash off those precious oils of life: context; the new person we’ve become or the qualities we’ve dismissed; our new audience or no audience. Each time the memory is slightly different. Each time the rememberer is slightly different.

You are Beautiful

I hadn’t heard my mother say a complete coherent sentence in a couple of years. She had been a relentlessly verbal person. In the last good years she would buttonhole a few folks at my parties and pin them in loquacious assault. These acts of self-perpetuation were unstoppable—beyond reason or interception. One on one, I [...]