Things aren’t always as they seem.  Three fresh examples:

Last weekend I had the privilege of hearing the poet and memoirist Mary Karr at my favorite writer’s group, the Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop. Karr remembered the time her son, then a young child, bottled crickets for Mother’s Day. Crickets? Yes, crickets! A perfect gift in the author’s eyes, the memory of which still allows her to access this period in her life when a paycheck literally meant food for the day and heat at night. “Try to manifest those small things that are luminous in your life,” says Karr.

I also find it revealing that as tough as Karr appears—words like ass whooping and asshole fall easily from her painted lips—she prays before starting her daily writing practice. And when she writes, she cries. “Poke at all your assumptions,” she tells the rapt group, asking, “What would you write if you weren’t afraid?”


On Wednesday we woke to dark skies and a slush of snow — on the ground and still falling. Because the trees hadn’t yet lost their leaves, the weight of the snow crushed slender branches, bringing many down by early morning. Anticipating still more snow and freezing temperatures throughout the day, I canceled an evening appointment. Which I fretted over. By mid-morning, however, burning sunshine had already begun to melt the cake of white. The roads were clear.

What was all the fuss about, I wondered?

You think the worst but it isn’t so.


In a “keep fit” mode I bought a package of skinny bagels last week. I wanted thinness not bark. Bark is to admire on trees not to eat.

When are things otherwise for you?

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