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 : Claudia | January 12, 2016
The glorious auto-brew function on my Mr. Coffee broke a couple of months ago. (Yes, I know. Tragic.) Now, instead of waking to faint Pavlovian beeps and subtle wafts of my go-to Wegman’s French roast, I have to unravel myself from my husband and make the long, dark haul down to the kitchen, where the not quite so glorious but still somewhat miraculous “ON” button lives—and then wait six minutes. It was especially cold this January morning, and although I’m in my favorite winter onesie pajama and my wool slippers from Mongolia all bundled in my plush and remarkably unflattering mint-green fleece robe, I wasn’t quite content nor warm enough until I held the day’s first mug. A friend once told me she can always spot a coffee lover by the way they hold their mug—grasped firmly between both hands and held close, at about the sternum, a bit like one might hold the neck of a person one were trying to choke if they were standing between one and one’s morning pot. I happened to be engaging in such mug-holding at the time and agreed.