There was a rumor. Perhaps it was on a website or a social media group page. I heard it was possible to buy a real Christmas tree in Bahrain. Of course, here one does not acquire a tree by chopping it down in the wild or snuggling up for an outing to a Christmas tree… Read More In search of imperfection
Breakfast spread across the table in typical morning disarray. A kilogram tub of yogurt. A variety of fruits. Scrambled eggs. Toast. Fruit jam and Irish butter. It was a fairly average breakfast that I was quick to compare to my average breakfast in the United States. As we sat around the table enjoying our morning… Read More But what will we eat?
Poppies, like scarlet sprinkles on a cupcake, adorned patches of wild grass along the lane. As I drove my youngsters to their Romanian preschool that spring, it wasn’t just another morning. It was the morning after a presidential primary debate in 2016. When we walked into the small school building, grandparents and mothers turned to… Read More The Humbling Vote
Years ago I sat in a college seminar class with ‘genocide’ written across the board. Our small cohort was learning about specific atrocities perpetrated by humans on other humans. Through documentaries, books and journal articles, and with the guidance of a lawyer, historian and political scientist, we discussed the roots of genocide. Though this was… Read More The Normalization of Contempt
When you move to a new culture, new country, new continent, it’s the little things that grab your attention the first few hours and days. On/off switches on every outlet. A washer and drying in one. Hot chapati or a cappuccino delivered to my door within minutes. Climate control in every room. A view from… Read More The Little Things
It’s like the guy who enters a coffee shop and takes a seat at a table next to a group of women. One woman begins to share her recent account of a traumatic labor and delivery. In the company of friends, she recounts how she wanted to have a natural birth at home, but after… Read More Yes, but. . .
My dad’s parents each died when I was in high school. In both instances, I received the news via phone call and began the moments of grief alone. When my grandmother died, the school staff were made aware and quickly came to comfort and surround me with love. Days later, my parents and siblings traveled… Read More Extended Grieving and the Contemplation of Legacy
Several times a week our grandmotherly neighbor in Romania would knock on my door and deposit a warm 1.5 liter bottle of fresh milk in my hands. She was the delivery, providing the service for another neighbor whose primary means of income was the cash she received from the milk of her one cow. I… Read More The Season After
The war raged, but in the city, we moved freely. Though the sound of gunshots was rare, signs of the perpetual crisis were all around. Most notably, the grocery store was never fully stocked. Let me rephrase. The shelves might be full, but the store continually lacked bare necessities. One day the aisle would be… Read More Crisis Expectations
Shoes, soled with layers of dense mud, lined the porch. It had recently rained, turning the dirt driveways and road-side pathways into sludge traps. In this environment, shoes don’t come into the house. This was my front porch in Romania during the wetter seasons. In no time at all, the children’s shoes were trashed. I… Read More The chore of responsbility