Precarious Kites
(Grace Notes)
Columns 2012

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Navigating a New Cancer Diagnosis
I dream chemo all night. My father has lung cancer: these five words look strange to me in black and white. This is brand new. My mother, my siblings and I try to absorb the information. My father too, is absorbing it, and doing a better job than any of us. We are different now in a sort of hazy, undefined, searing way. Stunned, yes - he hasn't smoked in 30 years, he had no symptoms, he felt fine, finding it at all was a fluke. We need to learn how to do this with him.
May 25, 2012
We Are Not A Christian Nation
We Are Not a Christian Nation Where did the idea come from that people of faith have been excluded from serving in our government? The supposition is insulting to the the many men and women, of varied faiths, who have spent lifetimes serving the government of the United States. It’s a presidential election year and so the subjects that tend to froth people up – the social and religious ones - are being whipped into overblown, manipulative, and dishonest attempts to get votes.
Mar 12, 2012
Loving an Old Dog
He spent the first year of his life tied up in a feed lot; his young owners had no time for him and he wasn’t allowed in the house. When Kathy, from Border Collie Rescue, ended up with him, she thought he’d be one of the best cattle dogs she’d ever have – after all, he’d spent his young months in the crowded quarters with many, many cows.
Mar 1, 2012
Hospice House and Light
The one story house, low slung across a lot longer than it is deep, was built by Joseph Eichler, an architect of the 1950’s. It’s surrounded by other Eichler’s on a street named after a poem, in what seems to be an iconic California neighborhood. Hydrangeas bloom fat and effortlessly, their giant pom-pom flowers popping in yard after yard. Persimmon trees hover over small yards, blue agapanthus, hummingbirds. The sometimes searing white light of the Silicon Valley, this day, chases every crouching thing out of the shadows, into the bright.
Feb 5, 2012
Jumping Jack Flash
This column is about the Rolling Stones and my neighbor Larry in his yellow snow slicker. It’s not about politics. Really.
Jan 28, 2012
Moving Slowly - A Resolution
It is days before Christmas and my father and I are in Target. The lines, of course, are long and the only way to get through is to breathe in, breathe out, and willingly give some of your minutes over to waiting. Fretting does no good. Ill-will doesn’t make the line move faster, or the young ones behind you less cranky, or the cashier bleep and blip over the bar codes faster.
Jan 4, 2012
A Gift for You
It is crackling cold – icicles days old, no melt in sight, snow dry as sand, streets like rinks; all day you try to walk carefully, carefully, precisely and balanced like a big horned sheep. But this graceful animal you most definitely are not, and so you cross your fingers, pray to stay upright from the house to the car, the car to the office, or store, or school, and then backwards, home again.
Dec 21, 2011