You write the thing in a flurry in November. You write it in response to a journal’s call for submissions. The journal has feminism in the name. You consider yourself feminist in the “women are equal (and also kickass)” way, but you’ve never written a *feminist* essay before.Read More
The other day, I was walking outside to eat my lunch. I prefer to eat outside as it gives me an opportunity to see the sun, get some fresh air, and get away from the noise that permeates an open work space. The path I take to the outside takes me through the cafeteria/eating hall area.Read More
She had skin like honey. Drizzled over each limb, down the nape of her neck. My own, in comparison, is pale; my back is scarred with past acne, my thighs raked with thin white stretch marks and dull, greying bruises. For her, the sunlight clung, in sheets of golden gossamer, to each of her limbs.Read More
Sunday in Athens — most businesses remained closed. The streets deserted by people, energy, magic.
My travel partner and I walked the major thoroughfare. We passed shop after shop; each metal security door shut tight, its corrugated surface tagged with bold words and images.Read More
My maternal grandmother, Bubbe or Bernice, has moved around the continent regularly, every decade at least. She sheds her belongings like a molting snake with every move, and lately even with each of my visits to her. She bequeaths soup tureens and books, art pieces and ceramic bowls, clip on earrings and Czech shot glasses and vases. It's as if downsizing is a challenge, and she's punching back.Read More
The term, she wears her heart on her sleeve is wasted on me. I wear my heart everywhere on my physical person. I am a crier. I always have been. My mother used to retell the story of when I was three and she found me sitting silently on the front porch with tears pouring down my red blotchy cheeks. She stroked by hair and a wiped each stray tear. She asked me what had moved me to tears on such a beautiful day. Moved me to tears? What moved me to cry?Read More
“Hey, ain’t you Jesse’s sister?” Jesse’s sister, that name should have been on my birth certificate. Not one of my brother’s friends ever called me by my first name. Did they know it? Even Kevin, who always found his way into my room when my brother was in the bathroom.Read More
I have my face waxed every few weeks.
Hot wax is smeared down the sides of my face, over my cheeks, across my jawline and to my neck. Then, it’s ripped off in an instant. In that second before it is ripped off, my body automatically tenses, waiting for the pain that I know is coming.Read More
I wasn’t really sure if I should write about this incident on social media platform. Then I thought why shouldn’t I? It is indeed something that we all should learn from. We, as parents, often spend most of our time teaching our children, the right values, the right manners and many other “right” things that are too many to list here. We are so engrossed in teaching them things that we forget they also have a thing or two to teach us. Things, which, if implemented, will make our lives a tad bit simpler.Read More
Friendships can be hard to maintain. My thirty-three years on the planet have imparted a limited, yet I don’t think insignificant, view on how friendships change. What I know for sure is that, like any relationship, they require upkeep.Read More
I have a new man in my life. His name is Dominic. He is gentle, humorous, wise, eloquent and loving. We have been spending a lot of time together during the past five weeks and our appreciation and love for each other is deepening. Dominic is ninety-three years old.Read More
For years, my hair had been my nemesis—more foe than friend. Being called names such as curly, bush, and frizzy, it’s no wonder I had identity issues. While the girls in school had long, flowing locks, my tresses grew sideways instead of down, causing me to try any and all options to gain control. And so began my use of a litany of products from Dippity-Do, large curlers, and pink tape, to jumbo brushes, blow dryers, and flat irons.Read More
When my mother tells stories about me from when I was young, she often highlights the fact that I never wanted to play with baby dolls. I never willingly pretended to be a mother. I liked stuffed animals. Theywould be my children, and I would brush them and care for them rather than baby dolls.
Ten months ago, I stood in front of the mirror and called my body “beautiful.” For the first time in years, I did not criticize my appearance. I did not disparage my physical features. I admired every curve, every scar, every tensed muscle. I discovered strength cloaked behind weakness -- a powerful, invisible strength I have carried with me for my entire life.Read More
I remember my granddaughter’s fourth birthday party. I was there. So was my ex-husband and his girlfriend. I spent most of the time in the kitchen, avoiding them. When the cake was being served, I bolted out the door and into the safety of my car.Read More
When I was a child, we didn’t travel very often. I didn’t even board a plane until I was 11 years old. We would go to cabins in the woods for a couple nights or so, but they were always within a few hours of home.Read More
My high school guidance counselor once sat across from me and,with the entirety of my transcript spread out in front of her and said,“This is amazing! You know usually your kind don’t make it this far!”Read More
Whenever I see a drawing of a bird, I think of my sister. Cherie had a fascination with birds and an encyclopedic knowledge of every species. She worked at a wildlife center and fostered the injured birds, but she had a particular fondness for the birds of prey. She took beautiful photographs of hawks, eagles and owls, and sketched them every chance that she had.Read More
To me, knowing who you are is as important as remembering to breathe. Self-discovery is a bit of a winding road. You never know when the curve in will cause you to veer and go off the road. We all experience our fair share of darkness and light. That is almost a given in any life, no matter how ordinary or lavish. It is about creating a delicate balance between the positive and the negative.Read More
When I was a small child, my grandmother took me to see The Elephant Man, a movie about Englishman Joseph Merrick. Joseph was born with severe facial deformities and was exhibited as a human curiosity in the late 1800’s. The depiction of Joseph Merrick shocked me, but not for the reasons it shocked others. For me, the shock was recognition. I knew Joseph Merrick. I was Joseph Merrick.Read More