We Don’t Need Fires Lit Beneath Us

The sirens sounded behind me as I rounded the corner in my beat-up Camry. It was late 1999; I was 21. It never feels good to get pulled over by the police, but when the cop told me I had an expired registration, I wanted to sink into the floor. The notice to renew was […]

Learning to Be a Desert

Growing up, I felt most at home in the desert. In our neighborhood in the foothills of Tucson, there were undeveloped tracts of Sonoran Desert around each house. I viewed all that land as my backyard and became as familiar with its thorny inhabitants as I was familiar with my bookshelves. There was the hook-headed […]

Thinking of the Next Big Thing

I spent 15 years of my life dancing. Everyone gasps at the show-stopper steps, but I’ll tell you a secret: the bedrock of ballet is the “transition” steps: the rather quotidian, easy movements that three-year-olds learn their very first class. A pile is a straight-up knee-bend. First position places your heels together, toes turned out, like a dove’s […]

The Tender Necessity of Taking Care of Myself

It’s never good when your kindergartner sees blood dribbling down your chin. It started with the oral surgery. Receding gums meant a graft of tissue from the roof of my mouth to the overexposed teeth. I was expecting the surgery to be uncomfortable, expected my gums to be sore. What I did not expect was […]

When I Hate Greeting People on Sundays

This is going to make me sound like a misanthrope, but I hate greeting people on Sundays. At my church’s weekly service, a pastor gives the announcements, dismisses the children for Sunday school, and then cheerfully announces that we should greet the people around us in the pews. On the worst days, they give us […]