Showing posts from November, 2020

Happy Book-iversary to Reverberations!

Monday was the one-year anniversary of the official launch of my book, REVERBERATIONS: A DAUGHTER’S MEDITATIONS ON ALZHEIMER’S. The whole world looks a lot different today, in many respects. Pandemic, unprecedented, year of the weird, couldn’t have predicted, etc. But some things haven’t changed, and I want to talk about some of them. First: Family. Families may change in their makeup, but the concept of family—people with whom you belong—stays the same. I’m especially grateful to my family, especially my siblings.   It’s difficult to write personal essays at all. It’s especially difficult when you’re writing about family experiences, which other people may (or may not) have shared. My sister and brothers have been as kind and considerate as I could have hoped, letting me say what I believed to be true while keeping their muttering sotto voce . They’ve been kind advocates for the book, too, which I appreciate.   My launch anniversary coincides with a birthday. This year, Pe

Antiracism Books (Canada Sandwich)

Folks, the books. They are coming--all kinds of books. Almost as if everyone recognizes that we will gratefully receive them, coming into winter (as we are in the northern hemisphere).  I've been reading them, and commenting, and thinking, and even posting about them here and on Instagram (where I am spending more time, and where I am, unsurprisingly, marionagnew. Come say hi). I will have more to say about the books below ( I've written about one h ere, and another one here ), and I will share thoughts here in the coming weeks.  For now, look at this lovely stack of books. And not for Americans only! Canadians, the books at the top and bottom are by Canadian authors.  In order, top to bottom: * Black Writers Matter , edited by Whitney French. Regina, Saskatchewan: University of Regina Press, 2019. Twenty-five Black Canadian writers consider so many subjects. So much to be learned from these pages. * How to be an Antiracist , by Ibram K. Kendi. New York: One World, an imprint o

Chatting at a Dinner Party (Or: Holding Hands)

What if the world of books were one big dinner party? Or perhaps I mean some other metaphor—perhaps holding hands?*   Let’s stay with the dinner party for now. Sometimes a book is like a new guest at a dinner party of otherwise familiar people—a new energy that creates and directs energy into conversations in new ways.   Of course, that’s always true, in a sense—books live in a context. They’re produced by individuals who live at specific times when specific things are happening. Entire literary theories and theorists debate whether a book can be extracted from its time, and how to handle books that once expressed the best thinking of the time but that now are obviously (and painfully and dreadfully) flawed. But I’m not talking about that, today. What I’m describing is a slightly different experience. While reading Diana Beresford-Kroeger’s To Speak for the Trees , I felt that this book could happily chat at a dinner party (or hold hands) with two other books I’ve read recent

Today's Focus

Sometimes it feels as if growing older requires consistently lowering expectations of others. Or maybe it just feels that way today. Today, some people are determined to live down to the few expectations I had left for them--I'm looking at you, election officials in Oklahoma, to say nothing of half of the voters who live there.  But. I have a choice. Today, I choose to celebrate people who are doing their best in impossible circumstances.  Random slightly fuzzy photo of a beautiful flower/weed  from the most beautiful place on the planet. Today, I'm celebrating public health officials who are saying hard things in rooms of politicians, and who continue to say these hard things, day after day after day. These people are giving good, science- and experience-based advice.  Their advice is too often ignored and wished away, lalala if I pretend to be responsible, if I raise my voice and tell people to get it together, maybe something good will happen, lalala. I can't imagine the