Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Grieving What Was: Then and Now

 I grew up on the outer fringe of a new suburb, our freshly-built ranch house abutting a gnarled apple orchard, a meadow of goldenrod and milkweed and Queen Anne’s Lace, a ravine that plunged down to a creek. As kids, we travelled in small groups: myself, Sheree, Renee, Timmy, and Mary Ellen. Sometimes we’d venture into the world beyond our neighborhood and walk down to the one-lane road that ran along the Schuylkill River.

About a mile down, we’d find what we were looking for—a concrete structure rooted just next to the river. Its massive columns rose to a highway, which began its launch across the river—and abruptly stopped, midair. I remember it fascinated me, this strange fragment of a former time, this monument of a daring hope left unfulfilled. We named it the Bridge to Nowhere.

Monday, September 14, 2020

My Family, My Politics

There’s a way to talk to people who like Trump without hating each other. By "people" I mean my own family-of-origin. Noelle and her husband and I had a carefully-worded discussion over the phone. They of course, take the opposite side in the Trump/Biden debate. There were a few tense moments.

Things I'm Learning During Covid

Some things I’m learning during Covid:

1. How to be … nothing. Just myself. No occupational titles, no self-improvement projects, no social status, no special artsiness, no nothing. How to enjoy just being alive, spending time with the people I love in the simplest of ways.

2. It’s okay to watch three hours of The Money Heist every night. F. and I kick back. We laugh at some of the more ludicrous plot lines. We already know: no hostages are getting out of there alive.

3. Drugs are underrated. My brain needs anti-depressants. There are times when nothing else will work. This is one of them. I was weeping all the time and couldn’t pull out of it. Thank God for citalopram and buspar and methylphenidate and Strattera, for mood alterers of every [legal!] kind.

4. Suddenly, I’m letting more people in. A long-time friend of F. emailed me to trade book recommendations and I responded at length. I talked to Raelle’s husband first when I called her on the phone. A couple just a few doors away had us over for the first time and might become our camping and biking buddies. With none of my regular distractions at hand, I seem to be delving deeper, allowing new people to take their places in my heart

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Forging the Second Self: A memoir in progress.

Forging the Second Self: Post-Teaching, Post-Mothering, Post-Midlife: Who Will I Be Now? Part I.: Who Am I Now? When I see myself a...