The Year of My Undoing

There was a woman I held dear. She was not my mother but she loved me as her own. I picked flowers in her yard and swung in her hammock and watched her make art. I watched her in the year of her undoing. I quietly observed the way her mind puzzled, distorted, melted even. […]

Who Will Pluck My Chin Hairs?

My mom and I once made a solemn vow: If either of us is ever in a coma, we promise to pluck one another’s chin hairs. My petite, five-foot-tall mom once grew out a single hair to see how long it would get. The coarse black hair spiraled below her chin until my brother and […]

This Business of Aging

At every age and stage of my life, there have been specific words that triggered something in me—sometimes that something looked like resentment or strong disagreement, even a visible feistiness. More often, however, the clearest emotion rising from specific words or phrases has been . . . shame. During my growing up years, any reference […]

Learning to Let Go

Do you sometimes feel as though you’re carrying around a rucksack full of rocks? Yeah, that’s been true for me, too. Perhaps it has something to do with being a Type Two on the Enneagram. Perhaps it has more to do with being a female of “a certain age.” And maybe it has a heckuva […]

Things I Have Observed in Silence

I am six years old. The bathtub is full of mediocre bubbles. I am on my back and my hair is floating around my head like so much kelp in the water. The ceiling straight above me has an aging water stain from the ice storm the year before. I stay there until the water […]