**This fictional story contains delicate themes (e.g. bullying/coming of age sexuality/rape) and coarse language. If you are sensitive or averse to either, please refrain from reading.** I am a keeper of secrets. Not just the hair-standing-up-on-the-back-of-your-neck kind, but the kind that make you want dive into the peanut butter jar and eat marshmallow fluff with a spoon. I’ve never been…
On August 16, 2013, I kissed my husband curbside and anxiously entered the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Chicago. I was wearing my favorite jeans, a polka-dot blouse and my black pumps, the ones with the large leather bow near the toe. But the space felt wrong, like the cafeteria on the first day of school: a virtual minefield of…
I first heard the name Tadeusz Borowski as an undergraduate student in Amherst. At that time, I had rather sophomoric ideas of the horrors authored by the Third Reich and of its henchmen, and was scarcely aware of the songs of its survivors. Of course, I’d heard of Levi, Spiegelman and Wiesel. And I’d read Plath’s “Daddy” as a teenager.…
“Go to the desk. Stay at the desk. Thrive at the desk.” -William Matthews
Everyone has a place—their place—where heart and breath slow, and stillness and contentment reign. Maybe it’s the inside of a train, the white sand of a beach, or a treasured bookstore. Maybe it’s a cushy chair at a local beanery, the zoo, or a bench at MoMa. Or maybe, if you’re truly lucky, it’s a space within your own home.
Since my mother-in-law’s arrival we’ve been working on my nook. Truthfully, I’ve been adding to my stash since last year, but I needed her expertise to bring the space to life. To make singular items create a mood and tell a story—my story.
And that’s just what she did.
It asks nothing and gives everything. It smells of sage blossoms and vanilla and is guarded by cheery owls and pink hippos. It highlights my love of polka dots and dresses, quotes and candles. And it houses a tribute to our three little angels, who watch over me from the halls of Heaven.
Generally, I go there to write, but it’s also great for naps, tears and counting to 10 (not necessarily in that order).
Everything there is a reflection of my heart and a representation of my spirit, from the decorative boxes holding pictures of loved ones to the small collection of books by my favorite novelist, Elizabeth Berg.
What a wonderful and blessed thing!