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Thursday
Jul132017

Testing Siri

What I love the most about Siri is if I make a mistake—a wrong turn, for example—she doesn’t tell me. She just finds a new path for me without saying, “re-calculating.” Sometimes, I’d make a mistake on purpose, just to see if Siri could find me and figure out what to do with me next. She always did. Only a few times has she told me to, “proceed to the route,” and I do, wondering only for a moment if her robotic female tone sounds mildly snarky and exhausted with me.

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Thursday
Jul132017

A Map of the Heavens in Four Poems

It lies on its side, that large, bell-cupped vessel
With the seraph-scrolled handle meant
For comfort’s grip, meant to hold tea and warmth.
It is nearly empty and very cold now, rolling on its curve.

In the other room, I can hear him thrashing.
I ignore the sounds, the moaning, finally, the silence.
In my chair, I read a magazine, anything to delay
The vault into that high bed with the pillow top.

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Thursday
Jun292017

Meeting Barbara

Romero was blooming last year the week I moved to Pittsburgh. I was intrigued, but busy unpacking and settling in. This year when an email from Phipps announced, “They’re coming to SNIFF you, Barbara,” I decided to go. It was an excuse to run away from home. 

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Thursday
Jun292017

Permission to be a Beginner

Taking this pottery class was giving that back to me. I was a beginner again. I was doing it simply because it brought me joy. Sitting at the pottery wheel was giving me freedom and space. I’d sit and work the clay, and my mind was at rest. The wheel would spin and the clay would slide through my hands, and I could feel myself relax. It was quiet. I needed that.

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Thursday
May042017

Vernal Equinox

Three daybreaks in a row, I spot a long-necked snowy egret, a thing I’ve rarely seen on Ocracoke during crowded summers. I will see a fourth and a fifth before this week is out. I’m cycling on the sound side of this windy barrier island, 20–25 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North Carolina. I’m here in late winter, in time for the run up to Vernal Equinox and to learn from the elegant waterfowl and her windswept empty beaches how to be and think and pray afresh—how to work and play in an uncluttered, unfettered manner. 

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