Posts in category "Uncategorized"

Why I got a tattoo: this raven stands watch

I was born before the generation for whom tattoos are a part of everyday life. As a college English teacher, though, I’ve been exposed to many, many students with tattoos, piercings, and creative haircuts, including the young woman who used three Bic pens (red, blue and black) to “tattoo” her own arm, from wrist to... Read more »

e.e. cummings offers a way into the heart

e.e. cummings offers a way into the heart
The inscription reads, “(your favorite poet) / to our favorite girl / from your favorite/ Parents…Mom and Dad 1977 / Happy Sixteenth Birthday.” My mom’s handwriting is lovely, even, flawless. She wrote these words, crafting them to look like an e.e. cummings poem. The book is Tulips & Chimneys, published by Liverwright in a “typescript”... Read more »

The blur of grief: in memory of Brian Bard

The blur of grief: in memory of Brian Bard
Brian Bard died from pancreatic cancer on February 7, 2017. His loss is profound for his wife and three children, ages 6 to 16. No matter what your beliefs, loss leaves a yawning gap in our present lives. I didn’t know Brian personally, but I feel like I met him through his wife, Jennifer Bannan.... Read more »
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Do you believe that once you have cancer you always have cancer? I guess I'm "one of those" who does

Do you believe that once you have cancer you always have cancer? I guess I'm "one of those" who does
I was at a social gathering a few weeks ago, a group I’m new to, and the conversation turned to concern about someone who hadn’t participated in the group for a long time. From what I could gather, this woman is suffering from depression and is rarely leaving her house. One of the women said,... Read more »

Since #goldenshowers are in the news, let’s talk about women and their bladders

Since #goldenshowers are in the news, let’s talk about women and their bladders
I’m not sure I had ever heard the term “golden showers” before Monday night. I’m well informed now. This isn’t going to be a political blog, at least not in terms of our current government. But it is going to be a soapbox sort of post. More than 75,000 people will be diagnosed with bladder... Read more »

Balance is my word of the year

Someone on my Facebook feed posted an Onion article from 2013 whose headline was: Man Still Trying To Find Right Work-Anxiety–Life-Anxiety Balance. The entire hilarious piece is here. The Onion seems to always get it just right. One of my favorite quotations from the piece is While Humphrey said that his inability to maintain an... Read more »
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What it's like to get an ultrasound on a winter day

The sun has risen, but it is only just pinking up at 6:45 a.m. The Breast Care Center is dark inside, the waiting room trying to look like somebody’s living room, with a few table lamps glowing. Unlike a living room, you have to type your name into a computer before you walk in. The... Read more »

My doctor fired me because I wrote him this letter

I went for a regular mammogram last week. On Monday evening the results were posted on the main portal for the Advocate system. The report said there was an indistinct 7mm oval mass. I now need a diagnostic ultrasound. On Tuesday morning I called my doctor at 6:45 a.m. It turned out that he was... Read more »

Anxiety: the present moment is better than trying to live in the future

Anxiety: the present moment is better than trying to live in the future
Your life supposedly flashes before your eyes just before you die. I have no idea if that’s true, but we’ve seen it depicted in movies and fiction so often that it feels true. My experience of anxiety is like this, only backwards. What I mean is that anxiety, as I experience it, is the future... Read more »
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Life is sometimes a surprise and a delight: thankful for a miniature murmuration of starlings

I don’t know what Leonard Cohen had in mind when he sang about a bird on a wire. I’ve always imagined it was a caged bird. But yesterday, I wondered if he was writing about Starlings. I was sitting at a stop light, behind a woman who was determined to drive six miles below the... Read more »