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Report from Austria: The Cloud

I brought a box of soap to my Austrian friends as a hospitality gift.  It was found in a drawer in my aunt’s house, which I have recently cleared out after her move into an assisted living facility. The box is of fine black, durable, shiny cardboard, is about a foot long and a fewContinue reading “Report from Austria: The Cloud”

Report from Paris: III Mostly Toilets

Today I will write mostly about toilets. I’ve seen quite a few in my time, beginning with outhouses and holes-in-the-ground in the Maine woods in the 50s, but today will begin with the most amazing toilet I’ve ever seen, a public toilet on the streets of Paris. It is an oblong building, with a drinkingContinue reading “Report from Paris: III Mostly Toilets”

Report from Paris: Art, Toilets, Poetry

Report from Paris: Poetry, I am in Paris. I didn’t want to come . I envisioned walking through museums viewing paintings that I had known (or near enough) for decades. Sigh. It would be fine. I wanted to be out in the country, enjoying the dry summer heat, or the cool summer breezes, in touchContinue reading “Report from Paris: Art, Toilets, Poetry”

Our Children Are Not Our Children

This is a photograph of my grandchildren looking out on the Pacific Ocean. They have their backs to us, and that is appropriate.  As Kahlil Gibran writes in his poem On Children: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. …….. You may house their bodiesContinue reading “Our Children Are Not Our Children”

Going public

Yesterday I read the opening pages of my book to about 200 students and faculty at my university. I was heartened by the number of times the audience laughed out loud. When talking about sex, humor takes the edge off. But I had to step back before I chose to take this reading opportunity toContinue reading “Going public”

Bless Marilyn Marlowe

A long time ago, while I was married to my first husband, Ernest Coates, I mixed up being married to a writer with being a writer myself. Ernest churned out thousands of pages of writing but never got around to submitting them anywhere, while I supported the family. Not a good plan, and for thatContinue reading “Bless Marilyn Marlowe”