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“I’m Dead”

I haven’t yet worked out what to do about the names of the dead in my address book. It’s disconcerting to have my eye fall on one of these names. “She’s gone,” I’ll think, and there is a little frisson of loss. If I were committed to electronic retrieval, I could delete that line, just wipe that person off the list. But […]

In a Liminal Space

  A few winters back, when it was icy, I complained to a grocery cashier about being tailgated on the way to the store. “I don’t want to drive that fast,” I said. “It’s dangerous on these roads.” “I’m with you,” she said. “I have to be careful. I have responsibilities—I’m a dog owner.” Her words warmed my heart. She described my […]

An Ounce of Prevention

I was on my way to pick strawberries, driving down a country road when it happened. About a quarter of a mile ahead, I saw a fawn step onto the blacktop. I slowed down. The fawn saw the car, turned, and began running straight toward us. I stopped, but the truck behind me didn’t—or, anyway, not as soon as I stopped. The […]

No False Spring

Spring snuck up on me. It was beautiful for a week in early February, and then I looked around and the whole world was in bloom. At first, I didn’t trust it. Twenty years on the East Coast taught me not to have confidence in an early spring. There, the weather would warm for a few beautiful days, maybe a week, in […]

Stepping Out

In the first week of the year, I understood that it was time to let go of my part-time job at the library—a fifteen-hour-a-week ballast, working with friends and surrounded by wonderful books and movies. What could be more pleasant! Then I wondered, If given the chance, what else would I fill this time with? And I was being given the chance. […]

The Crash

It’s been many weeks since I’ve posted, but I do have an excuse. Over the holidays I was traumatized by my Mac Mini. First, it was processing at a glacial speed, which was bad, and when I took it in to be checked (at an Apple Store, in a packed mall, a week before Christmas), I was told that my hard drive […]

Nutritional Overhaul

I’ve long been wary of diets that forbid that trinity of culinary pleasure—dairy, wheat, sugar. Physical pain is a powerful incentive for change, but can changing your diet truly provide a cure? Then a friend with arthritis gave a glowing account of her own nutritional overhaul, an approach called The Abascal Way. I remembered that a book by that very name had been […]

Life Spans

A few years back a beautiful and charismatic woman who was my next-door neighbor told me, repeatedly, that she was not going to die. I suggested that perhaps she’d experienced the part of her being that’s eternal, but she said, no, this was not it; her body was not going to die. I might die myself, if I chose to, but she […]

Looking at Light

I work part-time at the Whidbey Island library that’s in a double-wide, a cozy space where we have interesting conversations. One day  we convinced a library patron to bring in her art portfolio from her  car. This artist, Angie Dixon, showed us glorious pictures—horses, a friendly orangutan, and one I’ll never forget: a window with rays of light coming through it. Nothing […]

As Life Unravels

Prayer flags, made by a friend, have been fluttering their good will and compassion in my backyard for a month now. I love the idea that these silk flags, vibrant but fragile, are doing their best for the universe in the short time they’ll be here. They’re a daily reminder that my life, too, is impermanent. Earlier today at a happy hour […]