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Showing posts from August, 2014

Constructing Usable Pasts At Home

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Here is the quote of the week:

“In the end, we get older, we kill everyone who loves us through the worries we give them, through the troubled tenderness we inspire in them, and the fears we ceaselessly cause.” Walter Benjamin

"Troubled tenderness" is the most beautiful phrase I've read in a long time. It's been a tough week around here, with my mother hospitalized after a collapse that was the result of taking too much medication.

Her body didn't like that one bit, and heart, kidneys, lungs all had something to say.  The first twenty-four hours were rough. She is doing better now and with some luck and some hard work, she will be right as rain in a month or so.

We've come down to help my mom and dad when things have gone pear-shaped before.  My husband once remarked that my dad looked like Mario from the video game -- running into walls and bouncing off of things.  In the thick of the panic, he does get a little dazed. Don't we all?  (I often feel like fre…

The Art of Memory: The Fault in Our Stars

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I finally read John Green's The Fault in Our Stars.  I am really glad I did.  

I was captivated by the ways the characters experienced their interior lives together, the way they took lonely separateness and made something new.  They co-created narratives about what was happening around them that were sparkly, beautiful, larger -- much larger -- than what they might have conjured on their own.



Selfies in Crossfire

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Not a lot in the news to inspire and hearten me at the moment. You?

As far as I am concerned, it has been one of the most painful news cycles in recent memory and the fractiousness of social media made me dial back my own presence in the virtual spaces that have become my stomping grounds.  I maintain that knowing what is happening in the world is a civic responsibility, but sometimes fulfilling that simple act is wearing.  Made more wearisome, of course, by my awareness that I enjoy a luxury not known or experienced by so many thousands of people living with, living through, living and dying amidst the throes of war, atrocity, earthquakes, epidemics.  The luxury of finding the news exhausting.

Amidst stories of ebola, of bodies falling out of the sky, of Gaza, Gaza, Gaza,  this photo of a grinning woman on the BBC news page caught my attention:




The photo seems to suggest, "Look at me.  I am smiling. So there."  Actually, that is pretty much what this selfie, like many other…