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Showing posts from 2020

Eight Minutes and Forty-Seven Seconds

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Eight minutes and forty-seven seconds. The length of time a white police officer named Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of a handcuffed black man, George Floyd. For eight minutes and forty-seven seconds—three minutes longer that it took George Floyd to stop moving and breathing—he knelt on his neck, hands in pockets. The brutal murder of George Floyd—and make no mistake, George Floyd did not die—he was murdered. His murder sparked 13 straight days of protests, some peaceful, many riotous—as a nation and its global neighbors rose up and said Enough! Thirteen days during which “President” Trump teargassed a crowd pf peaceful protesters, appropriated God and the Holy Bible to use as props to bolster his failing reelection campaign, and turned the White House—the People’s House—into a gated fortress.My husband and I attended a protest last night at McMichael Park in our East Falls neighborhood. It was peaceful and it did my weary heart good to see so many neighbors—of all races and hues an…

Silver Linings

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Growing up I remember the older folks around us saying frequently, “Count your blessings.” This came back to me recently because the news is so bleak. It’s all the sky is falling, the sky is falling. Oh it didn’t fall yesterday but today for sure. Or maybe not today but definitely in the Fall! Everywhere folks are lamenting “the COVID-19 outbreak has changes lives ways that were previously unimaginable.” This week I decide to both count my blessings and look at the unimaginable ways life has changed, all with an eye to the silver lining of this all.Counting blessings…I wake up in the morning next to a man who has been at my side for twenty-four years, in a room flooded with sunlight in a house I love. Birds sing on the other side of the window as the dogs snore gently.Life has changed…When I go outside, there are kids learning to ride their bikes up and down our street. This seems to be strictly the domain of dads. Some of the kids we’d only ever seen as they waved hello or goodbye fr…

Oh, The Crazy: Navigating an Anxiety Disorder and Finding Peace

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I’ve wanted to talk about this for so long. But who was there to talk to? I wanted to write about it for so long because writing is somehow easier than talking. But how do you write about crazy when crazy is all you know? How do you write about something when you have language but no words to describe the pain, the fear, the crazy?And so, it remained unwritten, unspoken until one day when a coworker callously, casually ascribed her habitually unemployed, controlling husband’s actions to “his OCD.” That did it. I wanted to scream, to explain. Then I thought I’d finally blog about it. Instead, I wrote it into the book I was working on. One of the main characters in my third novel, In His Eyes, became a stand in for me, told the story I could not.Dinner was full of grace, exhibiting a chef’s finesse, subtly seasoned. Calvin raised his glass. “Here’s to our chefs—Micah and Skye—you’ve done it again. Every year, just as we think you couldn’t top last year’s meal, you do it again.”“Cheers.”…

Covid-19: What I've Learned About Writing & Fear

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Day 43 of the Coronavirus Lockdown. People are saying they’re bored, lonely, stressed. They’re tired of being stuck at home, video conferencing; they want to get their nails done, their hair cut, their kids out from underfoot.
I admit these complaints haven’t fallen on sympathetic ears. I’m impatient with the complaints and self-pity. I tend not to dwell on things I can’t change. And if there’s a problem I try to fix it. I don’t complain a lot because hell, no one can hear me over their own litany of complaints and petty dissatisfactions. (Full Disclosure: I have an anxiety disorder for which I take Lexapro which has been life changing; more on that in a future post.)
Don’t take this to mean I don’t find this pandemic jarring. I do. And any confidence I had in the U.S. government to manage this crisis has fallen to nearly nil. I’m also having flashbacks. This pandemic reminds me of the early days of the AIDS pandemic—back when no one knew quite what this new disease was, or how to trea…