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Saturday, November 21, 2015

For what I have lost


  • a length of batik fabric from Ghana brought to me by my father
  • my Brownie beanie
  • the bedspread, red with white polka dots edged with navy with white polka dots, from my room in Maine
  • the 1950s white kitten heels I found in my mother's room in Florida and dubbed my "pool pumps"
  • my brother's copy of The Phantom Toolbooth which I purloined from his room and refused to return
  • my West African doll with the metal frame and wooden bowl on her head
  • the thimbles from my trip to England with my father and the display shelf my father gave me for them
  • the "fashion doll" with the short gold hair my mother bought me at Bruce Variety
  • the 7th grade tennis team trophy for best sportsmanship which is the only trophy I ever earned
  • my Beatrix Potter figurine of the mouse mother and her little babies abed
  • the framed needlepoint my father's mother did of a little blonde girl praying from over my bed
  • the piano in the basement playroom
  • Brownie the dog's collar
  • the little wooden birthday candleholders from Germany
  • my rollerskates with the orange wheels when I really wanted pink
  • my magnetic paperdolls from Maine, whose double names all started with Mary
  • the archery certificates I earned at Keystone Camp
  • the last birthday card my mother's mother sent me with the $5.00 check I never cashed
  • my mother
  • my father
  • Augustine

For what I have lost along the way, I give thanks for ever having had at all.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


I mewed inwardly when I saw them at Fresh Market, tiny apples each smaller than a golf ball, organic, pink and nestling sweetly against one another, and so I cradled a bag in my hands and turned it this way and that to check each wee apple before putting them in my cart next to green beans and red-skinned fingerling potatoes.

Two hours later, a text on my phone from an old friend, Oh, God, Paris!, and my attentions turned to that city, to my friends who live there, my family priest among them, he whose ordination I attended, who married us, baptized our then dying baby who then lived, celebrated my mother's life while mourning her death, and finally retired to his home in Paris last year.

Où est Albert? Au Bataclan, à la Rue Charonne, à la Rue Bichat, à l'Avenue de la Republique, au Stade de France, à la Rue Beaumarchais.

My college roommate, who transferred from Université Paris-Sorbonne my junior year, her sophomore, and proceeded to fill our apartment with little tables she found here and there, creating the strange reality that nobody could sit but everyone could lay something down, which she insisted made it feel like home, like Casablanca.

Où est Kenza? Au Bataclan, à la Rue Charonne, à la Rue Bichat, à l'Avenue de la Republique, au Stade de France, à la Rue Beaumarchais.

They are the last two of whom I wait to hear, and until then I sit tensely after a poorly slept night, though next to me the cat sleeps soundly on her blanket, her little white nose resting on her white-dipped paws which she is holding clasped together so they form a prayer fist no bigger than a tiny apple.

Où est mon cœur? Au Bataclan, à la Rue Charonne, à la Rue Bichat, à l'Avenue de la Republique, au Stade de France, à la Rue Beaumarchais.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

a week of small but profound joys






Top to Bottom: 

1. The Wall of Jesuses (Jesi?) at The Eclectible Shop (1036 Northwest Blvd), which is THE place for a rainy day for the old books and their aroma, the cozy collections of old items, and the surprising enormity of the place.

2.  The sign at the church just down the hill from the oldest's school, which also happens to be the school from which my father and his brothers graduated in the late 1930s to early 1940s, which fact makes me immensely wistfully happy.

3. The plant on my desk at work, which I have lovingly tended and which has rewarded me from time to time with new growth, a gift that makes me feel exhilarated and in awe of my little plant.

4. My funny little man pot, into which a fairy pumpkin fit perfectly creating a pumpkin-brained creature to greet visitors. This pot will forevermore remind me of spending probably the best decorating afternoon ever with the oldest and his talented and plain wonderful girlfriend, whom we all love dearly.

5. Apple balloon twosome which have reset the balloon bar immeasurably high. All other balloons should drift downward in their presence.