I was at a picnic, and all my neighbors and friends and family were there, even my son’s father. The weather was so lovely and we were all having such a lovely time, that it saddened me to know that I my son was at home, probably sitting in the dark, feeling lonely and miserable. … More Getting home after a Holocaust: Dream, August 21, 2013
If I had known how difficult the journey was going to be, I never would have attempted it. Getting up here to this enormous mountaintop shrine to the Buddha took all my energy. I started out in the heat of mid-morning, with plenty of water and a good breakfast in my stomach, on a walk … More Shanti (Peace) Pagoda, Pokhara, Nepal
9 July 2011 Now that I know how to look, I can see how poor the people are. Here is a woman shoveling wet sand into an enormous wicker basket that she carries with a strap around her forehead. There is a man washing his face at an outdoor tap. A man in a crisp … More Cannonball through the heart
The monsoons have started. All the trash-filled fields have turned overnight into swamps or lakes. Some kind of bullfrog sounds like sawing wood or braying is under my window. It and the frogs seem to have fallen from the skies. They weren’t here before, were they? When Brendan and I live in the same house, I … More Monsoon Season in Nepal
June 15, 2011 When Brendan was six years old, his father and I separated. I was just finishing my dissertation and felt as though I had to choose between my was-band and my dream of becoming an English professor. I had supported him financially and emotionally as he went on the academic job market; had … More How did I get here? What am I doing?
I’m taking my son, Brendan, to Nepal, for two months this summer. At first he was really excited, but now he tells me that he does not quite understand why he feels so miserable about leaving the United States and going to teach English in a Buddhist monastery. He worries that he will not know … More Pittsburgh to Doha
Fortuitously, my countdown in bikram coincides with the day of the month, at least through January. So, today is January 3 as well as the 43rd day of my bikram practice. What is different? Sivasana. Yes! Already! It still hurts, sometimes, to “relax” on my back on the floor, because my muscles, long trained to … More Where Did My Back Pain Go? Bikram Day 43
My son, my only child, was born months after my mother succumbed, fighting, to colon cancer. She was 55. I was 30. When the doctors diagnosed cancer, I immediately got pregnant. I had spent a lot of my life up to that point doing everything I could not to become my mother. I looked … More Mothering