cleaning the house, tending the weeds.
On the accretion of stuff: “And so, without siblings in whose faces we might see our pasts, and without children who reflect back to us ourselves and our future, we cling to the representational, the inanimate, the stuff to which we attach memory and meaning.”
Dementia took the mind of Bruce Jenkins’ mother, but it could not erase their shared love of words. “Take a book, and read to her just as she read to you.”
The Old Green Singers
Angie recalls her family’s beat-up truck, “Old Green,” which became a concert hall on wheels as she, her mom, and her brothers sang their way through good times and bad.
When there was nothing else for Kevin Richard White, there was writing: “I want them to know we’re given a voice at birth. We’re given a chance to use it. All you need is paper and time.”
Dear Summertime Rolls
“The summertime world is languid. It is the snick-snick-snick of sprinklers. It is Perry Ferrell crooning ‘Tag. You are the one.’” Jen writes a thank you note to a pivotal album for her 13-year-old self.
“These snippets of a lifetime make me ponder on how vital stories are. How we keep people, traditions, habits, alive through words. I’ve heard you die twice. First your physical death. And then again, when there’s no one left to tell your story.”
A Rainbow for Moonbeam
“I got to thinking:
Say something that will let her close that door and move on.
I got to thinking:
Say something that will let you close that door and move on.”
Musings from Terah van Dusen on her mother.
Write Along with Me
In preparation for a writing conference, writer and ex-nurse Lois Roelofs reads and shares what she’s learned from Phillip Lopate’s Writing Personal Essays: On the Necessity of Turning Oneself into a Character.
The Art of Jumping
Joseph Lyttleton describes New York City: “It’s impatient and unkind, expensive and exclusive, unimpressed by anything you’ve ever done. The city doesn’t need you or want you, thank you very much; although, it’ll gladly have another meal.”
Falling Half in Love with Strangers
“The whole evening I had been suspended in a bubble with Max, and now I felt like I was holding a pin, ready to burst it and step out into the real world again.” Quinn describes a beautiful, meaningful encounter with a stranger in Vienna some years ago.
My Daughter’s Birth
After her partner gave birth to their daughter, blogger and scholar Lucy Allen reflects on a complicated delivery, made more so by hospital staff making her feel unequal and unacknowledged as a parent.
Moving is hard. Sometimes, it’s brutal.
“Loss is a fundamental part of traveling; people rarely tell you that.” A traveler looks back on the time he said goodbye to North Carolina — and to Ashley.
Falling in Love with Words: The Secret Life of a Lexicographer
In the first chapter of her new book, Merriam-Webster lexicographer and Harmless Drudgery blogger Kory Stamper describes how she fell in love with words and offers a peek into the world of writing dictionaries.
Each Breeze Began Life Somewhere As a Little Cough
Poet Christoper Citro meditates on the omens — good and bad — that arrive on air: “I pierced the clear membrane and the coils expanded and the guest bed took its first deep breath. Each time a visiting friend or family member sleeps on it, it will take another.”
“I honestly believed at the beginning of my memoir journey that writing my story would enable me to let it go. Leave it behind me somewhere. I was secretly hoping these writers would confirm this belief. They didn’t.”