Archive | Identity

Mom and Dad and baby M

Amazing and Wondrous: Four-Generation Total Eclipse

Thanks to my 86-year-old father’s planning (we all thought he was nuts), 24 members and four generations of our immediate family flew from Maine to steamy Athens, Tennessee for the day yesterday to see the Aug. 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse, the first since 1918 to cross the entire U.S. This was surely a once-in-a-lifetime experience […]

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Pisa April 2017

Why Aging Mindfully Fits Right In With Admitting to Depression

I was tucking my five-year-old granddaughter into bed the other night when, to prolong the moment, she plied me with a blizzard of existential questions: “Wait… granny, who are you married to?” “Who is mommy married to?” “Who will I marry?” And then a quick segue… “Are you old?” “When will you die?” “Will you […]

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The Only SECRET to Writing Well

My favorite journalism professor, a retired war correspondent, was definite about this one thing. The secret to becoming a great reporter? Quantity. Write a lot. Then write some more. There is no other secret, he told us aspiring reporters at the University of Wisconsin-Madison back in the 1970s. Being a perfectionist, and also lazy, I […]

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Lunch at Google with Eliza and Timothy

My 65th Birthday

I dreaded it for months. But my 65th birthday came and went a week ago and life is still good. Grand, in fact. Despite recurrent depression, despite self esteem issues, despite everything about myself that I’d like to change, I am so looking forward to what lies ahead. Why do artificial milestones hang us up? […]

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Sam's red truck

Reinvent Yourself. Get a Truck. Write a Book.

Jumping in with an update so you don’t think we’ve gotten lost. Here’s the back-of-the-envelope: Sam bought a 10-year-old Chevy pickup truck. It’s red. It looks shiny and new. I think it represents his final conversion to island man. He’s got some practical reason about how it will be easier to get fixed than his Mini Cooper. Pretty sure […]

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Pencil erasing an "error"

The Angst of the First-time Author

This was a difficult summer. It was the first summer of my new persona as a writer. Outwardly it appears to have been luxuriously loaded with visits and weekend trips. Inwardly it was littered with insecurities, frustrations, and the angst of authorship. Having explored the world during my Gap Year and having dipped my toe into […]

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2015: Making Space and Doing Less

A neighbor was poking around her vegetable garden recently. Not a noteworthy event except that her garden was covered with a good six inches of snow. It was a brilliantly sunny day and the snow glistened fiercely. I called out to ask what she was doing. “Oh,” she exclaimed. “I’m looking for animal tracks. There are […]

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