Posted by : Claudia | June 21, 2016
Aging is a curious case of wearing yourself in while wearing yourself out. In the spectacularly paradoxical process of living and dying with every breath, we grow and compete against time — different for each of us, but gaining on us just the same. Death isn’t a popular topic, I know, but if you burrow even one or two layers into human motives and behavior, its significance is clear: Death is the nexus. We want to make a difference before we die. We want to see the world before we die. We want to fix a broken relationship before we die. This race against time is such a pervasive and tacitly accepted concept that we’ve converted it into a pop culture darling: the bucket list. Things to do before we die.
Posted by : Bettina | April 30, 2016
There was a day this past winter when I was housebound by a blizzard. Driving was dangerous, schools were closed, and events canceled. I couldn’t have gone out anyway as persistent winds kept blowing the snow into deep drifts across my long driveway, despite the repeated returns of the snowplow. An unexpected day with hours of uninterrupted time invitingly stretched out before me. I thought of all the enjoyable things I could do; reading by the fire, baking cookies, sorting through pictures, or even some Netflix binging. But then I remembered the cluttered basement with boxes scattered randomly across the floor
Posted by : Claudia | April 30, 2016
I set out to write the definitive, morally indisputable stance on SHOULD, but the truth is, SHOULD is as slippery as it is stubborn and as seductive as it is convicting. It’s both bondage and opportunity, both albatross and eagle—the kind of SHOULD that lovingly encourages me like a grandmother to explore and live well but also the kind that compares and defeats and sits devilishly on my shoulder with its claws in my neck. SHOULD is, on the one hand, a narrative that binds me. It is the Miss Hannigan to my captive soul, ordering me about with its wiry and graying hair, ill-fitting skirt and torn stockings.
Posted by : Bettina | November 10, 2015
It is a beautiful autumn day as I sit down to write. The meadow behind my house shimmers gold in the sunlight and the woods beyond it are dabbled in shades of yellow and orange as if a child went over them with finger paint. The October Glory maple trees at the end of my driveway are being true to their name with their brilliant red leaves making a bold statement across the azure sky. Outside the air is crisp and smells faintly of wood smoke and drying leaves. I sit in the sun streaming through my morning room windows and think to myself,”Fall is my favorite season!” I am thankful to live in the Northeast where each season is distinctly different from the one before it. Soon the color will drop from the trees and the chill of winter will settle in. My meadow will become blanketed in snow and will beckon me to snowshoe across it into the woods where the trees, covered in
Posted by : Claudia | November 10, 2015
Now, I’m not an etymologist, but I do spend an abnormal amount of time thinking about words, and it seems to me no coincidence that “seasons” (as in the cyclical climatological phases) and “seasonings” (as in spices and herbs) share so many letters. It’s an obvious connection, really: Both make life a bit more interesting. Seasons are on the one hand about variety, marked by their stark contrast to one another and efficiently grouped around distinct periods of time, taking turns, then repeating. These graciously rotating climates are the backdrop against which we live out our days, setting the scene as we live one act, then the next, and so on. But seasons are usually far more than a backdrop, rather also the stage and the props and even supporting characters. We react to them, we work around them, we fight through them, and we mourn or rejoice as they pass, ushering in the next