Archive | Essays

Pardon the Mess, I Live Here

I have known K since our late 20s–actually I turned 30 a few days after meeting him*–but we only became solid friends in our 40s. First he had a crush on me and I found him esoteric. Then I had a crush on him and he found me extra. Only now that we’ve outgrown feeling slighted by people who don’t desire us have we become good friends.

It’s the best.

Because we are neighbors, we often meet up for coffee, go on rambling walks, help each other out. We have seen each other through some very hard times–illnesses, deaths, breakups, poverty. Neither of us are out of the woods in that final category, and we talk about how being broke is different when you get older. Aging is a constant undercurrent of our conversations.

Perhaps I should say overcurrent because the topic looms. Continue Reading →

A Tourist in My Own Town

Central Perky

One of the many, many things I love about NYC is that when one neighborhood proves wearying (Williamsburg houses far too many of my exes), you can dip into a whole new world just by traveling a few miles. This holiday season I have been a tourist in my own city and have found real December magic, even when the adventures have left something to be desired.

Last Sunday I traveled to an unusually demure Midtown to ogle the big-hearted precision of the Alvin Ailey dancers at the New York City Center. Continue Reading →

Love Lost, Love Laureate: Noel Visitations

I woke thinking of Donald Hall, who died last June at the age of 89 after living a very fine life as a poet and a New Englander. There are details of his biography that make me wince–especially the string of young girls, including the poet Jane Kenyon, his second wife who was decades his junior and whom he met when she was still his student.

But I also know that God is not always concerned with such details, and that their love helped them develop as humans and writers. That he was unseasonably proud of his wife’s artistic development. That she professionally outstripped him before succumbing to a voracious cancer a few weeks shy of her 48th birthday. Continue Reading →

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