Archive | Past Matters

No Room to Let (Dowager Chic)

2002 me

This is a blunt story–which of mine are not?– and it probably deserves to live somewhere besides a blog post. But as is so often the case, I will begin writing it to the audience that exists in my head when I write here–namely, sensitive, smart, and roughly my generation, at least psychospiritually.

Four years ago I began a battle to establish my apartment’s rent stabilization. I’d moved into the building in 2002, a few months after September 11 had dashed my dreams of being a wife and a mother (a separate post; a separate book, really). There was a markedly different group of tenants  because back then third stop on the L Train did not mean hipster. It meant working-class families of mostly Italian, Dominican, and Puerto Rican descent. I was the only woman on the block living alone–definitely the only blond wannabe writer from Boston. Mostly I got along with everyone–oh, there was the time I got in a fight with a mafia princess over a parking space and her father came after me with a baseball bat screaming YOU FKING WHORE-but having grown up in Newton’s The Lake I knew how to hold my ground. Sort of. Continue Reading →

Vegans Need Not Apply

My personal ad, posted October 4, 2019

My grandmother Alice was an exceptional woman. Though she received very little formal education she was an autodidact par excellence and well-versed on topics ranging from train engineering to transcendentalism. But what I loved most about her was her great equanimity. Though she lived most of her life in an especially intolerant corner of Massachusetts and died in the Reagan 1980s, she was brilliantly open-hearted when it came to matters of race, sexuality, religion, gender, class. Her only true bias was against Presbytarians, whom, for whatever reason, she found ridiculous. When I’d ask about that, she’d shrug. “Everyone has a bias,” she’d say, “and that’s mine.” Well, I’ll be super super honest. When it come to dating, my only true bias is against vegans. As far as I’m concerned, a romantic connection that works on many levels is so rare that it’s ridiculous to rule anyone out on the basis of gender or age (within the realm of decency) or race or class or physical type.* But I will never date a vegan again. Life is too short to maw impossible burgers when there’s sirloin to be had.
*I have my preferences, but that’s for a different post.

Astro PSA: Mercury Retrograde Week 3

If you’ve been physically and mentally tired this week, you’re not alone. Trust that it’s not just because of daylights savings time. It’s because of the profound, subcutaneous change demanded by this Scorpio Season, when linear time has been collapsed into soul time, and regeneration has been the name of the game. All month we’ve been grounded here while Mercury, which enables forward motion, has been retrograde. We’ve experienced breakdowns, yes, but also breakthroughs, and our shifts have been seismic, even miraculous, as we’ve released old wounds, patterns, masks. But this has been a lot, especially after Tuesday’s full moon in stabilizing Taurus cleared out more flutter and clutter. So the rest of this November–holiday season be damned–defer to the sacred silence where each of us started. Don’t fight it. Don’t do anything. As much as possible, just….be. Only in this lush and pregnant hush can our cells reset themselves to their true form.

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