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Amazing Grace

Daily prayer.

As I type this, Grace is sitting on my legs and purring loudly enough that I can not only hear it but feel it. This is momentous because I spent the entire day looking for her while I was supposed to be packing for New York. She disappeared this morning and, because I’d left the front door open while moving things back and forth from my car, I began to fear that she was gone forever. If she had fled into the environs surrounding this Truro house, chances were high that she would be lost or severely injured. All kinds of animals live in these woods–coyotes included—and she’s never spent any time outside since we rescued her on the streets of Brooklyn when she was three weeks old. She was by herself, eating trash and hiding behind a stoop. The size of my palm, she was so little that she normally would not yet have been weaned. I believe that this is why she remains a permakitten. Like me, she was never safe as a child.

At first I assumed my little one had just found a new hiding place. But after after a few hours, I started to get nervous. I turned off all the electronics in the house and sang “Love You Madly,” the Ella and Duke song to which she has come running since she first became my charge eight years go. But she didn’t come. I turned the house upside down and still didn’t find her. And then I started to imagine the upheaval had so upset her that she’d run outside and had gotten lost. Maybe eaten. Continue Reading →

First and Forest

When I came to Truro, it was to be for a month. I had put the word out among my extended circle that I was looking to live in rural New England in September, and had rolled my eyes as I’d done so. Who’d be willing to lend me their empty house wily-nily for four weeks?

I had gall.

But as is often the case when life really needs to change, that gall paid off. A friend from high school—really, someone I liked but had never known very well—got in touch through Facebook, and the next thing I knew Grace and I were hurtling to Truro in a car full of cat food, thin cotton dresses, and platform shoes.

That’s who I was on September 7. Tired eyes, disappointed smiles, trailing glamour like yesterday’s big idea. Grief-stricken about the hateful ignorance validated by the Trussian Oligarchy. Grief-stricken about who I no longer was. Continue Reading →

They Shoot Jewish Witches, Don’t They?

Last night I had dinner at a Truro restaurant, and encountered the particular strain of New England xenophobia that inspired me to leave the region decades before.

It annoys me that I feel compelled to report on what occurred. Soon I must jump back into my ADHD life in New York, and expending precious writing time on this topic feels like a microcosm of how our predator-in-chief siphons our energy by making it all about his ugly heart rather than the huge issues he should be managing. But that’s the thing, isn’t it? The hatred lurking everywhere in American life is leaping to the surface because it’s been endorsed at the top.

So here’s what happened. I had had an almost perfect day before that dinner. By 1 pm, I had written 3,000 words of a book section that had been giving me trouble. Then I’d headed over to the Provincelands, an extraordinary stretch of the Cape Cod National Seashore comprised of dunes and forests and ancient, still-inhabited shacks. I walked for miles in this extrarrestrial territory—all sand mountains, barreling blue sky, trees stubbornly growing sideways. I was dressed how I most like to dress—a loose skirt and trenchcoat, barefoot and pigtailed—and could not stop smiling. It was the first bright day all week, and I was fucking happy. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy