Saturday, April 27, 2013



I will never write about driving

a car or giving birth. I will never

write about how it feels to swim

in the deep blue sea. I will never

write about riding horses or

bicycles even though I tried both,

once.  I will never write about

hoarding.  I am a purger, a discarder.

I clean up, toss out, put away. I will

never write about being a sister or

an aunt. Being an only child has always

been my burden. I will never write

about not writing because I do, I

write, I am a writer who writes even

when I’m not writing. Because it settles me.

Because I have stories to tell.


when I read my writing,

I look at the audience and see their eyes.

Friday, April 12, 2013


     After every meal or snack, I track what I ate on my iPad.  The Weight Watcher's eTools count the points.  Fruits and veggies are zero.  You can have as many as you want.  When I play tennis or walk, I track.  That lets me eat a few more points.  Today I walked for a couple of hours, training for my upcoming Avon Walk to end breast cancer.  The walk will be a long one: 26 miles the first day, 13 miles the second.  Tomorrow I'll start wearing the ActiveLink doo-dad that records every move I'll make: walk, get up, run, sit down, climb stairs, everything.   

     Last Saturday I participated in the first training walk but didn't make it all the way to Navy Pier.  The wind was blowing something fierce on the lakefront, waves almost splashing me as I made my way South from Belmont.  At North Avenue beach I turned West and walked to Clark Street.  It had been an hour of painful wind on my face but I kept on.  The others were long gone, walking faster than I can.  I don't mind.  I'll walk at my pace and finish when I finish.  It's not a race.      

     The eTools and the ActiveLink record everything I do, everything I eat, everything I drink.  Will they track my words too?  My thoughts?  Is there a training plan for creating a good essay a week?  a powerful poem?  If I track how many stories I write a month, does anyone care?  How many points do I get for a knock-out piece of writing?  

     There you go: something to invent, a new App to cash in.  Unless it's already out there already but I don't know about it.   If any of you know something, please pass the information along.  

     More tomorrow on tracking and training.  And life in general.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


     It's taken you the better part of five decades to appreciate fully your own company.  You've been lunching by yourself for years, even dining, going to the movies.  But there was always a bit of a regret, a feeling of being left out of the party.  Now, finally, you have realized the joy of solitude.  The freedom of doing whatever you want, whenever you want it.  

     This Monday you go to the Art Institute of Chicago to see the Picasso exhibit.  But first you must eat lunch.  The cafeteria is not crowded; the museum is not crowded.  The joys of Mondays.  You order couscous salad, coffee, and a parfait before sitting down in the back to read your book and do the NYT crossword puzzle.  After a while you go up to see Picasso's drawings, paintings, ceramics, whatnot.  Too many art works to absorb.  The famous ones you've seen before.  You walk through the galleries and stop in front of the portrait of Leonid Massine.  Why?  Because you know his daughter and son-in-law.  Amazing, ain't it?  Talk about small world.  Massine was a famous dancer and choreographer of the Ballet Russes, worked with Diaghilev, and Picasso was his friend.  His son-in-law is a colleague and friend of David's.  A poster dealer who lives in New York.  After a while the sensory overload forces you to seek refuge in the Member's Lounge.  You sit in a plush orange sofa and read, check email (there is Wi-Fi!), rest - your feet under you (without shoes of course).  The lounge is also mercifully not crowded.  After another while you go out the Modern Wing way and see the "They Seek a City" exhibit.  

     You love this exhibit.  Such amazing works about the migrations to Chicago from the early 20th century.  A painting by Emil Armin calls your attention.  That's your friend's Mike Armin's uncle.  Another small world moment.  Works by Motley, Cattlet, Ellison, Rivera, so many more.  You must tell everyone about it.  You must also come back to look again, slowly, and absorb it.  At the gift shop you purchase a long-needed umbrella; then make your way to the Macy's Flower Show.


     Pictures speak better (and louder and more colorfully) than words.  You love the smell of the hydrangeas, bougainvilleas, bromeliads, jasmines, aloe, neon pothos, cardamom, oleander, and so many many more flowers and plants.  The Indian music adds a sense of calm; the entire place tells you "come, sit, relax, close your eyes and let go."  You promise to go back again before it's taken away.  After, you sit in the small, yellow cafe next door and read some more, enjoy the solitude.  

     What a day you've had!  The best date in a long time.  And it was just with yourself.  The best company ever.