Small stone #30

Each eye feels punched in, my temples tight, my neck old rubber like an antique bicycle tire.  All this news coverage, but so hard to turn away from it when the people I’m watching on tv or on the Internet refuse to turn away themselves.  They face a wild and uncertain future, but they faceContinue reading “Small stone #30”

Small stone #9

The anger of a nation resides also in my heart.  For the sake of that nation, I will open my heart.  May the anger then dissipate so that love may shine freely, like mists dissolving under a rising sun. This small stone-turned prayer is dedicated to the victims of the recent shooting in Tuscon, Arizona,Continue reading “Small stone #9”

A follow-up about Virginia Quarterly

Back in August, I wrote a post about the tragic suicide of Kevin Morrissey; in that post, I commented on one aspect of the narrative unfolding at the time, namely, the dangers of workplace bullying and the need for our vigilance in fighting it. That post has received a lot of traffic since, partly fromContinue reading “A follow-up about Virginia Quarterly”

Nine years ago today…

I was driving a two-hour commute to teach a college class. I listened to the news on the radio. At one point I had to pull over on the side of the road just to catch my breath. Later, I passed others who had done the same. When I got to school, I spent halfContinue reading “Nine years ago today…”

One tragedy in academia

Among my various pet causes (promoting nonviolence, encouraging the creative writing of kids and teens, supporting increased awareness about breast cancer), one of the most recent for me is bullying. Usually, we associate bullying with the schoolyard, and when the news reports on bullying (and it has been reporting on it more in recent years,Continue reading “One tragedy in academia”

The Netherlands: Days 9 & 10

Day 9 Wednesday, April 14, 2010 We had planned today to go to Haarlem, but when we bought our train tickets to Hoorn yesterday, a saleswoman launched into a pitch to sell us bus-tour tickets, and we decided to take the brochure and peruse it just to make her happy.  And sure enough, while waitingContinue reading “The Netherlands: Days 9 & 10”

The Netherlands: Day 6

Day 6 Sunday, April 11, 2010 Today started out continuing the forgetfulness of yesterday, though it improved quickly.  We decided to head to the Anne Frank House first thing this morning, thinking the crowds might be thinner early on a Sunday.  We were right, but even after a thorough run-through of our new pre-departure checklist,Continue reading “The Netherlands: Day 6”

The good times are killing me

We writers and academics love to ask each other what books we’d want with us if ever we’re stranded on a desert island, and we love offering clever, literary answers: Jane Austen, Cormac McCarthy, the Oxford English Dictionary, the Dhammapada. But we’re lying to ourselves.

Patrons of writing and teaching: Anansi

Since February is Black History month in the US, I thought I’d write about another of my writing patrons, Anansi the Spider, King of Stories.  I first learned of Anansi from my college friend Moses Elango, who is from Cameroon, but many people encounter Anansi long before their college years: Anansi is a common figureContinue reading “Patrons of writing and teaching: Anansi”