Resilience: The Last of the Human Freedoms

The dandelion. A weed, everyone says, but it’s always been one of my favorite flowers. That lion’s mane of yellow petals. Ferocious. Shooting up anywhere. Everywhere. Between cracks in the sidewalk, among the rose beds, under front steps, in ditches along the roadside. Sprouting over lawns. I’ve yet to see a boundary the dandelion can’tContinue reading “Resilience: The Last of the Human Freedoms”

The Wiffle Bat

“You remember the time I tried to kill you?” My brother asks, “Which one?” “The one in the backyard with the wiffle bat.” He doesn’t remember that particular attempt. He says, “We both did a lot of things we regret.” “Yeah.” But what is regret? The recognition that something could have been different—but wasn’t? HowContinue reading “The Wiffle Bat”

Circa 1939

Grandpa Ellis didn’t talk about the time he spent riding the rails. He didn’t talk much at all. He’d come of age in the company of hungry, hollow-eyed men, and he’d learned their silence well. Latched on like barnacles to the roofs of freight cars, they clicked off the miles of open country. He diedContinue reading “Circa 1939”

Falling into Loss

Is our capacity to endure grief fixed at birth–like temperament? Is it a limited resource? Or is it a skill? A muscle that must be developed? And if we only have so much strength in us, what happens once we use it up? For nearly 16 months, I’ve experienced pain in my lower back, painContinue reading “Falling into Loss”

The Look of the Female Sociopath

Forget the Look of Love. This is game time, Cupcake. And the first thing any sociopath will do is size you up. Do you pose, in any way, a threat to their own superiority? Are you not giving them the obeisance that is their due? Or are you just irksomely, annoyingly happy all the timeContinue reading “The Look of the Female Sociopath”