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March 2019

A Small Thing

DownloadThis week, I was visiting my daughter. She has "Alexa" - that personal-assistant thing from Amazon. (Yes, I know. I'm ancient.)

Anyway, we were in her apartment making dinner and she asked, "Mom, do you want to listen to some music?" "Sure," I replied. "What do you want to listen to?"  "Whatever you've got," I said. She paused. "How about the Beatles?" "Great!"

After which she simply said, "Alexa, please play the Beatles."

What got me? Not the technology. It was that my daughter has such lovely manners that she says "please" to a machine. A small thing. But sweet. Like my daughter.

 

 


Come Back....

Download-3My dreams are populated with my Dad, my beloved friend Missy, and my little brother, all of whom died in the last two years. 

Dad comes and checks on me as I lay in my childhood bed. He kisses my forehead and listens to my childhood evening prayer: "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep..."

Billy, my brother, is often morphed with my son Paul in my dreams.  He is always young - maybe six - and he's in trouble. I'm trying to help him but I can't.

Missy has been alive all along, her death a prank. I am torn between fury and relief.

In my waking life, I'm reading "The Unwinding of the Miracle" by Julie Yip-Williams, a cancer memoir. The author is dead now, but I just listened to a podcast featuring her husband, sister and best friend. They all believe she has sent them signs from the other world. 

But I don't see any signs. I just long for them.


Language Abuse!


Download-4Last night, my new supervisor came to observe the writing class I co-teach at The-Place-That-Can't-Be-Named. We discussed putting together a chapbook (kind of an enhanced pamphlet) of the men's work. 

"Of course you two will curate the collection," he told us.

NO! NO! NO! We will EDIT this collection. Please can we retire the word "curate" or at least keep it for those who arrange art shows at the Met?  The photo illustrating this piece is labeled as a "curated salad." As you can see, you can curate your closet. Honest to God, I went grocery shopping at Shoprite today, and the sign over the deli department read "Curated Sandwiches."  Pah-leez. Download-5

And don't get me going on "artisanal." Artisanal cheese, artisanal coffee, artisanal beer, artisanal perfume. I guess my tooth implant is "artisanal" because it was specially crafted for my mouth. UGH.

Meanwhile, the men in class wrote some particularly heartbreaking and beautiful memoir. On the way home from teaching, a news alert popped up on my phone: Paul Manafort's less than 4-year-prison sentence. The racial injustice in this country is sickening.