Archive | Essays

Home of the Heart

Last night I had the anxiety dream about homelessness that I’ve anticipated since losing my jobs last spring.

I rarely talk about my fear of homelessness, especially with married friends. When I do, they say things like, “You won’t be homeless. You can stay with us.”

When I report their assurances to my shrink, a practical woman who knows from rough times, she raises her eyebrows. “People think they’re being supportive,” she says. “But staying on their couch would not be the same thing as having a home. Minimizing your valid fears is not helpful.”

My shrink never sweetens realities. Maybe she does with other people, but she is well-acquainted with my capacity to om-shanthi myself right into destitution. I’ve done it before.

It reminds me of a joke I tell clients. Continue Reading →

Massholia Ornithology

Right before I left for Cape Cod, a girl at my local coffee shop said, “I bet everyone is super laid back there.” I couldn’t help laughing. Growing up in Massachusetts and moving to New York City right after school, I first encountered a laidback person when I visited California at the end of my twenties. “Ooooh,” I remember thinking as I struggled valiantly not to interrupt the slow-talkers and slam into the slow-walkers. “This is laid-back.”

The truth is that native Massholes are impatient, skeptical people who loathe airs and whose only form of pretentiousness is an avowed hatred of pretentiousness. Regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or sexuality, almost everyone in this state dresses terribly, drives even worse, and prides themselves on their frugality and inability to suffer fools. I find it all totally endearing, especially because, since nobody shines you on, the friendships you form are life-long and right as rain.

But the people are hardly laidback. Continue Reading →

Not Far from the Tree

I know I’ve been quiet on this blog. I’ve been quiet everywhere for a week as I find the rhythm of writing this book. It’s forcing me to evaluate how I expend my energy, because being of body means we have limited battery each day. I’m figuring out when and where to eat, when and how to exercise, who and how to see. Most of all I’m figuring out what to say and when, for communication requires the most energy of all. I have about a month to squeeze as much of this book inside my heart and head and hands into the world, and I’ve never better understood the double entendre of such words as produce, create, birth. Continue Reading →

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