A Room of Her Own

A Room of Her Own

In 1929, Virginia Woolf wrote an extended essay that argued for a literal and figurative space for women writers in a literary tradition dominated by men. The essay is titled “A Room of One’s Own.” Today, the excavation work of creating space for women is still exhaustingly real. Without intentional and constant upkeep, a female space can dissolve in a matter of moments. Yet when carved out and tended to, women take up space and create worlds and languages for the benefit of all. In our home, my spouse and I decided to turn our third bedroom into my writing room. The space is sacred to me. I hung maps and pictures on the walls that tell my story. I put books...

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Belonging to the World

Belonging to the World

I just finished reading Traveling With Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd and her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor.  It’s about some traveling they did to Greece and France, separate and together, over the course of a few years and the shifts that came about in each of their lives along the way.  It’s a good book.  I’m not going to get much more into their story other than to say they were each searching for the story that fit for them in a new phase of life.  Ann was moving from college into a choosing a vocation and starting married life, trying to find her place and calling in the world, struggling with depression along the way.  Sue was moving from...

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Every Person Should Know

Every Person Should Know

I stumbled upon this arrangement of words a few months ago, and I filed it away to revisit during those times when I need a reminder of what is good to know.  The original version by Pamela Redmond Satran focuses the piece on women, and I’ve replaced “woman” with “person” in the adapted version below, adopting the use of “they” to acknowledge those who identify as gender neutral. EVERY PERSON SHOULD KNOW How to fall in love without losing the self. How to quit a job, Break up with a lover,  And confront a friend without Ruining the friendship. When to try harder, and when to walk away. EVERY PERSON SHOULD KNOW...

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Belly Banter

Belly Banter

With one month to go, I have reached the point in pregnancy where I often spill food on my belly while eating. The first thing I do when I walk in a room is look for available seating. I waddle. When I drop something, I seriously contemplate if I need to pick it up. If I decide to, I splay my knees to the side to make room for my belly and make an audible sound on the way back up. I rest my hands on my belly ledge. I laugh when I catch a glimpse of my body profile because, well, it’s just crazy absurd how this all works. The size of my belly is the topic of conversation throughout pregnancy, but now is also the point where it is the main and only topic of...

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Active Hope

Active Hope

The words that describe what’s happening on the planet earth right now are many, and they don’t always make you want to jump for joy or sigh in relief.   There is certainly goodness and that which is worthy of gratitude alongside the parts that make you want to scream in frustration or shake someone.  But these days, sometimes it’s hard to notice the good stuff.  Or when you do notice it, it’s hard to let it take center stage for more than a moment or two. Recently the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia, the world’s largest and most diverse place of aquatic life, was declared dead by Outside Magazine. (22% of the coral is dead, not to be confused...

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Transition Pay

Transition Pay

Wednesday this week started as a great day. Eva and I usually spend Wednesday mornings together, and after getting up we went over to a local café that’s perched on the banks of a waterfall to meet a friend who’s just relocated back to our area. Then we headed south to Stillwater to drop off a book I recently published at a bookstore to see if they want to stock it, got some things at the food co-op, and stopped in at William Obrien State Park for a hike along the river. The fall colors are just past peak, and the landscape is beautiful with all of its gentle earth tones sprinkled with little bits of vibrant red, yellow and orange.   When we got back home we...

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When Election Coverage Reaches a Tipping Point and I Start to Cry Once a Day

When Election Coverage Reaches a Tipping Point and I Start to Cry Once a Day

After the 2005 tape came out of Donald Trump talking so crassly about assaulting female bodies in general, specific women started coming forward to accuse Trump of sexual harassment. His response has varied from dismissing his comments as locker room talk, to implying his innocence by putting down the looks of the accuser, to vehemently refuting the allegations. I have seen this all before– brave women being treated horribly, then dismissed and discredited. Of all the friends and students in my life who live with horrendous stories of sexual assault, only a handful choose to report it, and even fewer saw any consequences for the assaulter. Most, knowing...

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