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Today the editorial board of the New York Times published an article called, “Take a Bad Year and Make it Better.”  It’s a long piece and it includes an impressive discussion of some very good things that happened in 2016. The one I liked the best was this. “West Virginia . . .  a state […]

The Holy Days of December: From Darkness Into Light

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This morning, in an email from a dear friend, I found this: Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light […]

Three Weeks With Wilson. Memories of Felines Past and Present.

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  My neighbor, Dan, who lives just across the hall in this old co-op building, left last Wednesday to spend three weeks with his mother in Cape Town on the coast of South Africa.  Susan works for part of the year at the University of Cape Town on a global rheumatic heart disease eradication project, […]

Always a Beginner: Writing and Life and Death

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When I lived in Michigan, I had four llamas.  One of them, a beautiful young gold and white one-year-old, died, and I watched one of the most remarkable things I’ve ever seen.  For a full day, the remaining three llamas walked, in a tight group, around and around their fenced acre, humming for their lost […]

Mothers “In the pupils of my eyes. . .”

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“Dear auntie will come with puja-presents and will ask, ‘Where is our baby, sister?’ Mother, you will tell her softly,  ‘He is in the pupils of my eyes, he is in my [bones] and in my soul.’” (Tagore. “The End”) I don’t remember at all when or where I read this line, written by the […]

Stories: Once upon a time. . .

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“. . . red-faced with the pure, foolish joy of the whole thing.” Last year, on the twenty-third of April, my first and almost certainly only grandchild was born.  Sometime in June or July I started telling him this story.  I have told it to him, adding a bit at each telling, every time we […]