In my new novel, What’s Left, her mother’s grandparents sail from Patras, Greece, to America in the years just before the First World War. In contrast, her father’s side appears to have farmed the Midwest in the oblivion of forever.
In observance of Independence Day, here are images from the Library of Congress in homage to those immigrants who arrived in that period by way of Ellis Island in New York Harbor.
Just a taste of what’s popping up. In case you were looking for a prompt.
Somehow as a Subway Hitchhiker (at least in my imagination and dreaming) I’ve settled in a small city in a cluster of small cities amid moose and deer and the occasional black bear. As well as the eagle, overhead. Here, with my city farm, as we garden.
Always the Outsider – even when I’m the Leader.
This slow process of learning to trust each other again.
Yet some Wants are also Needs! (To be loved, accepted – even as a writer – even successful or victorious in some manner.)
My Wall is an aspect of Control. (Even if it’s so classic it’s trite.)
Sometimes it seems we don’t play. We don’t play enough.
The pathway is not straight but strait. Not even like a tightrope. No wonder I’m so often off-kilter.
In the beginning was the Plan and the Plan was (as I paraphrase the gospel of John). Yes, simply was. And all we have to do is step into it! As if it could really be that simple.
This is hardly a Literary Life. How different my work would be had I led another existence. Something with more time for serious reading, teaching, refined social circles. Rather than laboring out in the field.
So comforting, this thick terrycloth bathrobe that reaches to my ankles – not a given, at all, when you’re tall. Nice way to round out the year.
Why wait for the dust to settle? Here are 10 bullets from my end.
Is anything more relaxing than sitting in front of a wood fire? Even when it means sitting on the floor?
Gift-buying husbands? Just look! As she says, they’re subjected to indentured shop-itude.
First day of winter and the flannel sheets should be on the bed by now, if not earlier. Flip the mattress and rotate, too.
Our traditional Christmas dinner includes fresh homegrown Brussels sprouts, which means I’m out in the garden harvesting – sometimes in several feet of snow. Likewise with kale and chard: frost improves the flavor.
Let me suggest Mary, as the mother of the church … a slightly different twist on the Nativity story.
For someone who’s lived under relentless deadlines, Christmas itself can be seen as another damn deadline. Or series of deadlines. This year, I think I’m ahead.
Still, I’m deeply grateful for the sense of release – notes, poems, correspondence … the logjam broken … now that the poems and novels are available.
Grandfathers have grandfathers too. In case you’re in one of those inner-child perspectives.
What are the theological dimensions of Alzheimer’s or dimentia? Where are the connections – the response ability – when your story gets so fragmented you’re no longer connected to anything you encounter?
The lighthouse at Cape Neddick in York, Maine, is one of the most photographed in America. Also known as the Nubble Point Light, it has a red beam to distinguish it from other nearby beacons. Each Christmas season, it’s outlined in holiday fare. Here’s how it looks.
The mind dances here and there, rarely in a linear fashion. So what’s on my mind these days? How about counting on these fingers?
She’s big on Christmas traditions, including our observing Advent these days. I’m still surprised she inherited none of it in her family! Created it like a radical quilt. Makes this array all the more remarkable, from my perspective.
Slush on the windshield. Ice underfoot.
Winter’s setting in, though I’m already tired of it.
The earliest sunsets of the year have plateau’d and are already inching back in my part of the world. The oppressive late-afternoon darkness will soon be obviously relenting. We don’t wait for the solstice.
I like the Eastern Orthodox insight of Mary as the Mother of Light.
In reality, I hate being the caretaker, responsible one, cleaner-upper, put-awayer. Contrary to my self-image.
It’s been a long road to here. Sometimes it feels like a hangover.
In working a seasonal job, she has a curious freedom in not having to worry about being fired, losing the mortgage, and so on. Just put the hours in and go home.
Whatever happened to my collection of winter scarves? (As if I really need to ask.)