Grace

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From the Essay “Winter Hours” in the book Upstream by Mary Oliver. In the winter I was writing about, there was much darkness. Darkness of nature, darkness of event, darkness of spirit. The sprawling darkness of not knowing. We speak … Read More

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Grandchild

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Dear Little Girl You looked perfect Your parents said And it is True Rosebud lips and button nose Deep gray blue eyes Pink baby, pink skin Hair – ginger, sandy Yet to tell. Your mother surrenders Her body to you … Read More

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Orcas and Life after Menopause

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Orca grandmothers lead pods, as matriarchs of their family units.  Science has discovered that only  some whale species, and humans, have a long life post fertility. Many other large mammals –primates, elephants—may be fertile into old age.  I wonder how … Read More

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My Santaland Diary

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The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris is my favorite holiday chestnut.  I grew up listening to an LP of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol my parents played on Christmas Eve, and that was wonderful during a certain age of innocence, but … Read More

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Santa Lucia Day, December 13

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In dark December the eldest Swedish daughterDresses in white, lights the candles,Glides from room to room with coffee,Cardamom buns, the lilting songAn old tradition from an old countryCandles lighting dark.But the story, reduced to pink-cheeked girls,Breakfast in darkened rooms, Does … Read More

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Gift from the Sea: Proto-feminist Book

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Anne Morrow Lindbergh published Gift from the Sea in 1955.  It was on my mother’s nightstand, and like many women of that era, I think she treasured the book.  I was surprised to see it described as a proto-feminist book, … Read More

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Strippers in church

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Strippers from Casa Diablo, a vegan strip club (only-in-Portland?) were in church and part of the sermon/dialogue a few weeks ago.  The minister preaches – and practices—radical inclusion.  His stewardship sermon last Sunday was Please don’t Give Us Money, if … Read More

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Looking for the meadowlark

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The meadowlark’s song is a signature memory of my childhood, that lilting call on a grassy knoll, melody carried above the grinding of grasshoppers or the rustling of wind through tall grass; a meadowlark perched on a fence post, head … Read More

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Becoming the music

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Becoming the Music Considering Matthew Shepard is a haunting, beautiful cantata sung by Conspirare, a renowned choral group.  The night I heard a live performance, the audience was part of each note; we listened through to the end without one … Read More

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No one cares, Your Highness…

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Age – which we wear by virtue of being retired—is a great equalizer for women.  Maybe men, too, I don’t know, but there were some decades when being a single woman, a single parent, definitely felt like not being chosen … Read More

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