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August 2019

The Reality Gap Widens

Every day the news is more horrifying. Locking up immigrant kids indefinitely? Denying green cards to people who seek health care or food?  Every day the president degrades humanity, the environment (roll back emissions rules, drill in the Arctic, deny climate change, and on and on) - not to mention the overall dignity of our country. 

For me, the only antidote to all this despair (other than political action which I think is critical) is to spend time outdoors. Lots of time. Not just to get away from the media, but also to gain perspective. Being in the Adirondacks this week is a special balm. The photo is yesterday's picnic lunch spot.Grateful to be here.


Immersed in the Past

ImagesRecently I bought a Groupon to have our old family videos converted to digital. Our VCR has long since broken down and I hadn't seen any of these films in years.

Back in the 1980s, we rented a video camera - a heavy, complicated behemoth of a thing - so we could document our new baby girl. By the 1990s we actually invested in one ourselves. It was very expensive. 

All this, of course, was long before cell phones or the Internet for that matter. 

Anyway the first batch of conversions has arrived and I am absolutely riveted. Who is this young family? Those beautiful children? My husband, with a huge mop of jet-black hair? And was I ever that young myself?! I was in my twenties when my daughter was born. And there I am pregnant with my son, clutching the hand of my three-year-old girl. She is in a pink bathing suit with a little skirt, mine is a navy blue maternity suit that I borrowed from my friend Missy. 

In one way, it's reassuring to watch these old movies. Sure, we were on our best behavior when the camera rolled, but I can see I was a calm and loving mother. (Somehow I'd remembered myself as an emotional wreck, but in the films I look competent and relaxed.) 

But these images also fill me with longing and sadness. That newborn blinking up at that mobile in his crib? He's moving across the country with his wife at the end of the month. That little toddler with the mass of blonde hair singing to herself? She already lives thousands of miles away.

How did this all happen so soon?