My “Little Bit of Paradise” In the 1920s, my grandparents and their three children lived in Dorchester, Massachusetts. As the owner of Yellin Dry Goods store in downtown Boston, my grandfather dreaded his daily commute by automobile to and from work. When he learned that a place called Hull, a lovely seaside town on Boston’sContinue reading “I LOVE HULL”
Tzebrokhnkayt: the quality of broken heartedness that gives strength in healing When twenty first-grade students and six adult staff members were murdered by a young adult assassin at Sandy Hook ten years ago, I reeled with feelings of rage, sadness, and horror. Yet almost immediately, as an elementary school counselor, I had to put personalContinue reading “Tzebrokhnkayt”
It was 1995. Home with three young daughters, I joined a weekly women’s writing group led by Amherst Writers & Artists founder Pat Schneider. A fledgling poet, I read my poems aloud for the first time. Yet to be discovered was the arduous journey from silence to freedom that this process of writing andContinue reading “Have You Ever Won Anything?”
At the Christopher Heights Assisted Living Residence located at Village Hill in Northampton, for the past three years I’ve had the privilege of substituting intermittently as facilitator of its Creative Writing Workshop, founded by admired local writer and photographer Peggy Gillespie. Each participant brings a breadth of experiences and memories to the writing table eachContinue reading “At the Christopher Heights Creative Writing Workshop “
Throughout my life, I’ve taken little interest in Emily Dickinson’s poetry (a daring admission here in Dickinson’s neighborhood). Until now, that is. Nor did I understand why my mother often referred to Emily Dickinson as her favorite poet. Decades ago, shortly after my move to Amherst with my young daughters, my mother took them toContinue reading “Hope Is the Thing With Feathers”
Recently I read an article that got me thinking about the role writing has played throughout the different stages of my life. One of its most interesting statements explains that writing about emotionally charged memories is good for the writer’s physical, as well as emotional health. Processing one’s stressful life experiences by writing about themContinue reading “Writing as Problem Solving”
Answering this question depends on many factors, not just one. Instead of naming my favorite of all (an impossible task), I’m going to mention one of my favorites instead. The poem is called “The Journey”, and surprise of surprises, I’m not referring to Mary Oliver’s poem by the same title, though that too is oneContinue reading “What Is Your Favorite Poem?”
In writing to this prompt a few weeks ago, I discovered something I’d never considered; namely, that it’s a slippery slope from preferring something to become prejudiced against its opposite. Let me offer an example. I much prefer tennis to pickleball. But what is it that I prefer? Playing? Watching? Play on a court markedContinue reading “A Slippery slope from preference to prejudice”
PearsThose pears were bruised,their skin mottledand darkened to maroon. I discarded them all. It was you whocut one into four wedgesand offered it on a white napkin. When I wrote this poem over two decades ago, I had no idea what the word koan meant. I might have heard it spoken or read it onContinue reading “The Beauty of Rotten Pears”
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