Opening day

Eleven years ago, I read a book I can’t remember in the bottom bunk of a bedroom I was sharing with my new boyfriend, Sean Flynn. Once the sun lit the room white, the gangle of a man I’d just begun dating sprung from the bunk above me toward the nearby desk and roused me … Continue reading

The mystery of being loved

A friend, saying she’d been a fearless young woman, added that she’s become increasingly anxious as she’s grown older. “When I feel that anxiety starting to build, I tell myself, ‘I am loved.’ It calms and centers me.” The next day, another friend shared a link to a Krista Tippett podcast in which the interview subject, … Continue reading

James Foley’s prayer

“If nothing else, prayer was the glue that enabled my freedom, an inner freedom first and later the miracle of being released during a war in which the regime had no real incentive to free us. It didn’t make sense, but faith did.”—James Foley, “Phone call home,” Marquette Magazine, fall 2011 My sated and somnolent … Continue reading

All this change makes me feel

I want to run toward and away from change. I want to be in its inner circle and skirting its periphery, a safe distance from the roil and tumble of its consequences. When things change, I want to hold my babies closer even as I rejoice in the slow curve of learning to let them … Continue reading

My wish at 34

34 years old but still living in the same body that first received the tickling warmth of his breath on the lobe of my ear; his lips’ tender press in the crease of my neck. My same back to his belly. My same belly filled, that night nearly 10 years ago, with the warmth of … Continue reading

I may leave, but I’ll never let go

Twelve weeks ago right now I was about an hour away from waking up to the funny feeling of an uncomfortable fist opening and closing in the vast, cramped space between my heart and my hips. The discomfort of that rather obtrusive fist would persist through a long, hot shower, then increase as midnight silently … Continue reading

“The Thing Is”*

The last time I was this stuffed with life my grandmother lost hers. What I have left of her now is a curio cabinet filled with a few photos and mementoes, and her scent secured two years after her death in a plastic bag of her bath towels, which I refuse to wash. Every once … Continue reading

From this deep slumber

I believe in the sanctity of privacy. After a shamefully garrulous riff in my 20s, when I put pen to paper or key to screen whatever rot spewed forth, I finally grew up enough to begin erring away from over sharing. This coincided in a way with becoming a mother. Learning the value of protecting … Continue reading

Stories itching to be told

Today I started writing an essay in response to a call for submissions on “The Best Decision You Ever Made.” Was it homing in on the clarinet as my instrument of choice in the third grade? Learning Italian in high school as a means to get to Rome in college? Moving to Washington, D.C., to … Continue reading