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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 […]

A Visitor

It was a Sunday morning. I’d slept in, meditated, and gone into the kitchen to make chai—when I had the feeling I was being watched. At the sliding screen door stood a large grey tomcat. I walked over and he sat, looking up at me. I sat. I opened the door a crack, put my hand out, and he arched his head […]