For mom, with love

In honor of Mother’s Day, let me tell you a few things about my mother:

MomShe is brave.
She stood up on a stage and told a roomful of strangers one of the hardest stories of her life: suffering a brain injury that ended her teaching career. She speaks at funerals. She stands by her friends when they are sick or suffering. She put an Obama sign in her yard, even though all her neighbors are passionate Republicans.


Things I did today instead of writing the piece that’s due

  • Took my computer to the coffee shop, on the belief that I wouldn’t allow myself to procrastinate in public
  • Bought giant coffee, to give energy for writing
  • Checked Facebook
  • Read knitting blog, even though I haven’t knit anything in years
  • Talked to friend I ran into at the coffee shop
  • Checked Facebook
  • Daydreamed about the meal I ate last night at Stanbury
  • Emailed co-worker about my meal last night at Stanbury
  • Checked Facebook
  • Read blog about funny cakes
  • Bought giant Rice Krispie treat, on the theory that I would feel so guilty about eating it that I would have to write something
  • Felt sick from eating Rice Krispie treat
  • Felt self hatred for eating Rice Krispie treat and failing to write a single word
  • Checked Facebook
  • Skipped toning class I was planning to take at the Y, because I still haven’t written one word
  • Decided to write this list instead of the thing that’s due at work.


On Monday, I fell in love


I was driving to work on Monday morning, listening to a podcast to fill the time. It was a conversation with Mary Oliver, a poet I had heard of once or twice. During that 30-minute drive, I learned that Oliver, now 79, has spent most of her life on Cape Cod, strolling the woods and fields and beaches with a notebook in hand, writing the most beautiful observations about nature — and human existence — that I have ever read.


Everything we do is meaningless, yet we must do it anyway*

I read this article the other day about what it takes to be a writer. The author’s theory is that the twin luxuries of money and time are the magic ingredients that divide those of us who dream of writing books from those of us who actually write books.

She’s probably right. If all of us aspiring writers had the money to quit our day jobs (and retreat to a private beach house whenever we are feeling stuck), we would probably finally put aside the excuses and write something.