Because Sun Stays..

My first year of college, I had a crusty professor who taught us Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem “Spring & Fall.” That’s the lovely poem that begins: Margaret are you grieving/Over Goldengrove unleaving? A week later, the professor opened the class with a smirk: “Let’s revisit our Hopkins poem, which you’ve

Gratitude on A Book Launch, Plus Two Cats & a Scrub-Jay

October fifth is the publication date of our book, Loaners: The Making of a Street Library! You can register to attend our conversation with Omar El Akkad , watch our book trailer and pre-order a copy for yourself and a library patron. I’m at work on an essay for the

Come Together

At the end of June, a murder of crows takes up residence in the towering Doug Firs behind our house. Only, I find myself thinking That’s not a murder, that’s more like a triple homicide of crows because there has to be sixty, eighty, maybe one hundred crows in those

The Five Obstructions

My husband Ben and I watched the “The Five Obstructions” when it came out in 2003. The film follows the Danish director, Lars von Trier, who visits his old friend Jorgen Leth and challenges him to make new work. Leth is an experimental filmmaker who in 1967 created “The Perfect

Widening the Boundaries

On a recent early August morning, I set out from my house and walked east. I didn’t have a destination in mind but I’d suddenly needed to be outside my house, moving and breathing in different air, (call it Sudden Onset Pandemic Sensation). After 5 or so blocks, I spotted

Truth & Dare

I asked my students from our Truth & Dare workshop to capture a bird. Not literally, with a net in the yard, but to render one artistically somehow: on the page with paint or colored pencils, with a sound recording or in a poem. The following class, they presented their

Half of What I Say is Meaningless..

When she held my babies, Julia put her face close to their little heads and breathed in. “I’m going to steal some of this sugar,” she’d say. She didn’t have kids of her own, but she was Godmother to many, including ours. For the 14 years we were friends, until

Finding the Baby

My hidden talent is that I can see every single person as the baby that they used to be. It’s not that in mid-conversation I suddenly stop and see a tiny red wriggling baby, partly wrapped in flannel. It’s more like a sensation, like, I can feel their baby. I

Fake Plastic Tree

I soaked up this recent essay by Karen Russell — she is the only writer I know who can fit Shakespeare, parenting, the murmuration of birds and the coronavirus pandemic into the same essay. Karen is a stellar writer and has been a great supporter of the Street Books project,

Wind the Clock

In January, I went off social media, removed email from my phone, and focused my attention on things I’d been too busy to notice. This meant pausing to watch the Northern Flicker woodpecker in the giant Maple tree in the yard. It meant reading a collection of poetry instead of

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