On Caring for Poinsettias

  Francine began losing her leaves soon after Christmas. She has been a good houseplant, keeping me and my roommates company when we sit at our kitchen table. Her red and green leaves signaled the coming of Christmas, and though she was only intended to live with us for the 6 weeks up till Christmas, … [Read More]

The Other Side of the Psalms

At 8:50 the alarm goes off. It’s time to grab your things, run to the bus stop to catch the 20. “May integrity and uprightness preserve me…” I put my headphones on, listening to a morning playlist while I find my way to my usual seat. It will take 25 minutes to get to language … [Read More]

Whispers in the Middle

“It gets easier.” Not all at once. Not even gradually. It comes in waves, difficulty. The choppiness seems all-consuming at first, and then you start to find the rhythm of the swells. Anticipation is out of the question… that would be too easy. No, you’re always in the middle of it. There’s no practice run … [Read More]

Sneaking Things

It sneaks up on you, that culture shock thing. You may think it’s happening, but it probably isn’t. You probably don’t think it’s happening, but all of a sudden you’re really sad or really mad or really both all at once and you don’t know why or how… and it’s probably happening. It’s wanting to … [Read More]

Confessions of a Control Freak

Control. I like it. Too much. I like being able to know what is coming. I like to know details. I like to be able to change things that I think are harmful. I like doing things ahead of time, so that I don’t get surprised. Anticipation. Preparedness. All seemingly virtuous, desirable characteristics. That is, … [Read More]