Life, studied

happiest among books


Prayer for today

{universe intervene, please,

in the street or perhaps

on the subway platform,

maybe as we leave a room –

let us all find unexpected

joy in an unguarded moment,

serendipitous memories

swirled with the pleasure

of a soft secret smile as we

stand among strangers,

the warmth of our

remembered happiness

embracing their humanity

too. }

Note to world #7103

I write of this moment to remember it.

Eighteen, more than a little moody &

wearing on my last good nerve.

She asked me to please fix

the rip in her beloved teddy bear,

like she was still 7, and I thought:

sometimes no time has passed;

sometimes, time can’t pass fast enough,

while I patiently stitched the

shredded bum of the ancient animal.

Note to world #7504

Day 4 of the new year.

I am recovering from one of the most depressing Decembers I’ve had in years. And I just found out I have the flu and a sinus infection.

I am determined to get a little happiness in 2019 – even if it kills me – although I’m pretty sure that isn’t the way it is supposed to work.



I meditate

to the sound of

summer crickets

gently chirping


it becomes

a soundtrack

in my mind

I carry that day


yesterday she said

I should meditate

because I need a way

to protect myself


I wondered


she meant

from her

The dog owner who wasn’t

The housekeeper sometimes drops by the house in the morning on her way to her first client.

Just to say hi to the dog.

In a special squeaky voice.

In a secret language she only uses with the dog.

She and the dog love each other in a way I – as the personal bank paying for the dog’s many and varied health issues – simply cannot.

And sometimes the housekeeper also leaves me little notes about the dog, propped up directly in front of the coffee machine so I can’t miss them….often written in a way that strangely reminds me of a ransom note maybe.

The notes say things like, “I fed Sunday” with a giant smiley face – which always makes me feel slightly inadequate, as though I had already failed in my first and primary duty as dog owner before 8 am.

But sometimes I fantasize that the note will say “I took the dog and she’s mine now”.

Which might leave me with a giant smiley face. And I think I could cope with any feelings of dog owner inadequacy.

Note to world #7500

A note consisting entirely of the word ‘delete’.

Old blurry photos from a shared project.

A poem about the crossword.

And a postcard about puzzles.

The recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

In the end, I take the advice on the note he wrote before I could know what it really meant : delete delete delete.

Note to world #5530

My children and I have been quietly fighting about their dirty laundry since the moment winter break started.

Ok, mostly I’ve been fighting about it.

First, my silent refusal to pick up their dirty clothes.

Then my stoic decision not to take the stinky mound of cloth to the basement for laundering.

Then my ever increasing vocal opposition to the amount of laundry accumulating in their rooms. Texts, even.

Protests have been held.

Marches planned and executed.

Proof of its harm has been submitted : photos of socks embedded in dog poo as Exhibit A. [Don’t worry, I won’t expose my readers to the harm caused by such a graphic image.]

Dirty laundry is not a victimless crime, I say : the dirty clothes nearly killed the family dog ! A sideways glance over a bag of chips is all I get.

And these arbiters of dirty clothes, they are not the innocents they seem to be – making more dirty laundry every day, twice a day, when they change into a fresh set of pajamas to slouch around the house and watch bad TV.

So the mountain of dirties has grown and grown. It’s now practically the size of the southern border wall that Trump wants …. and finally, I felt I had no choice but to threaten a mama shutdown.

But no one seemed to care, not even the dog – who has been enjoying the supply of smelly socks.

A reason to wish for the start of the new (school) year and the end of the break!?

Note to world #2019

I have built an existence that revolves heavily around two girls who no longer need me or want me in the way they did as toddlers.

And I haven’t caught on to this yet, even though they are nearly adults and have been – as many teenagers are – openly annoyed with me for the last five years.

I continue to plan around them, all things for me contingent on their adolescent whims – which seem to go on and on and change constantly.

Yesterday, my Christmas Eve plans fell apart when my children had a sudden change of heart … that they want to be with their dad instead of with me – according to my older daughter, because he’s hosting a big dinner and serving crab cakes – which she likes.

I hadn’t imagined how terrible one could feel about losing out to a fish entree but there you have it: I wept and wept.

And I’m the one who complained about holiday bows – remember?

Worse, I made no other plan for the evening because everything I do is built around my children.

Well, I can’t stand all my pitiful sobbing. And there’s surely more of this to come as they grow up and go their own way.

So instead, I’ve made a new plan, for tomorrow and for the new year : to do more for myself and to stop trying to exist only in the space my children leave for me in their world.