The Constant Anchor

Every day begins the same. I wake up, feed my dog, and brew a pot of coffee. Then I cozy up on the couch and begin my daily Spanish lessons, sipping coffee while my mind and body power up and prepare for the day. At first, I simply wanted to brush up on all the high school Spanish I learned and later forgot after years of disuse. It was a fun and easy way to start the day, with the added benefit of seeing tangible progress both within the language app and in my new ability to understand and  comprehend […]

The Sound of Freedom

Can instrumental music be offensive? It’s an interesting question because most of our musical objections pertain to lyrics and controversial or objectionable content. Sure, you can think instrumental music is good, bad, or anything in between, but can it be offensive?             It turns out the answer is yes. In 1944, Russian-born composer and pianist Igor Stravinsky received a warning from the Boston Police over his instrumental arrangement of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The police wrongly believed that there was a law against “tampering” with the national anthem, and Stravinsky pulled his arrangement from the program of upcoming concerts in compliance. […]

Red County Blues

We did it. We survived what has been called the most important election in our nation’s history and it seems the whole country is having a lot of feelings. Some of us are elated; some are devastated. And there are people somewhere in between. We all have our opinions, and we are each entitled to these opinions. It was our opinions that resulted in the last four years and that have decided what the next four years will bring. The big question, though, is how do we move forward in a way that heals deep divisions and unites millions of […]

The Haunted House’s History

The house has stood for decades. No one knows when it was built or what happened to its owners, whom haven’t been seen or heard from in our lifetime. Nature has reclaimed the land and house itself. What once was a porch is now a broken, sagging collection of boards. The beams of the roof have rotted, collapsing inwards to the heart of the house. A “No Trespassing” sign hangs on what is left of the front door. Perhaps the sign has served its purpose because there is no graffiti or any sign of vandalism to be found; or, it […]

In Light of Our Loss

The world changes quickly these days. I’m certain that the world will change several times during the days separating the writing of this article and its publication. As of now, it is less than two full days since the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and our country has entered into a new kind of turmoil. The loss of Ginsburg was felt especially strongly by our community, and we owe her a debt of gratitude for her contributions to gender equality and her notoriously astute dissents of Supreme Court decisions affecting the people of our country. Ginsburg was nothing if not […]

The Next Cycle

Do you remember 2012? If you do, you probably remember articles and memes making the rounds on the internet, claiming that the world would end on December 21, 2012. This is supposedly the last date of the Mayan calendar, regarded as the most sophisticated and accurate of the ancient world. Some took it seriously; others didn’t. After all, there’s always someone predicting the end of the world and so far everyone has been wrong.             Even if you don’t remember 2012, you’ve probably heard about the Mayan “prophecy”. Over the last few months, an updated version has been making the […]

Decisions, Decisions

At this point in the pandemic, saying that life is weird is both obvious and an understatement. We’ve endured lockdowns, ongoing debates regarding the legitimacy and importance of science, and we’re living through several social movements that are changing the fabric of our nation. It’s becoming more and more clear that a return to pre-pandemic life is not possible because that world no longer exists. What comes next is anyone’s guess. It’s this aspect of the pandemic that I find to be both incredibly interesting and unbelievably frustrating. In some ways it seems the world has stopped while continuing to […]

In This Time And Place

I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I knew it wouldn’t be easy. Back in March, in what I’ve begun referring to as “The Before Times”, the idea of a lockdown wasn’t so bad. My two-and-a-half year tenure as my father’s caregiver had come to an abrupt end shortly before the new year. I was grieving and exhausted; I welcomed the opportunity to stay home and take care of myself. At first it wasn’t so bad. I thought of it like a snow day, a separate and almost surreal (in a good way) reality during an otherwise devastating […]

Desperately Seeking Dazzle

(Or How I Got My Groove Back) Social isolation is hard. A few weeks ago I reached the point of full blown existential crisis. I had been alone for over a month and there wasn’t much positive news coming in. It was hard to imagine the world, and life, after the pandemic. Many of my plans have been derailed and, not knowing what the future holds, I was feeling lost and dismayed. It felt like life as I knew it was over and I didn’t know where or how I would fit into the new world. I was telling a […]

The Importance of Lilacs

The lilacs are blooming. I can smell them through the open windows, their scent wafting into my home on a warm, gentle breeze. It’s a beautiful day and somehow that just makes everything more surreal, more strange. The outside world is coming in and, in these days of lockdown and disinfectants, that’s a dangerous thing. I know that I’m being silly, know that coronavirus isn’t carried on the wind like a leaf or a bird. I know that I’ve taken appropriate safety measures, and I still worry that I’ll wake up with a sore throat, fatigue, and decreased senses of […]