Grace Notes
A hopeful newspaper column ~ by Natalie Costanza-Chavez
Mothers, Fathers, Plus

When the Gales Hit
I am at a House of Pancakes, in downtown Los Angeles, long after dark. It is 1984. Crying into the payphone, I reach only an answering machine, so I ramble. People stare. I turn away to face the window and watch a policeman walk towards me in its reflection. He stands respectfully away and waits until his large presence forces me to turn toward him. “You okay?” he asks. I nod “yes” and try to pull myself together. He lingers. Finally I hang up the phone and get in my car.
Feb 21, 2012
Women's Bodies and the Fray
My son brought a note home from school last year. A girl had handed it to him. “Answer it and give it back,” she said. The note read, “Which of these girls is skinniest?” It then listed five classmates’ names.
Feb 20, 2012
Bad Guys and Good Guys
Forgive me. I must call them up quickly – get it out of the way: the bad guys. They lurk close to our surface, below the skim of our minds, like quick eels they slide away and come back, slide away and come back. We hear about them, read about them, fear them in a part of us that seems only partially aware, but is ready to duck and jab and strike.
Feb 3, 2012
The Dirt, the Flower, the Salt, and Mary
Though this starts off like the lead-in for a bad joke, it isn’t; I swear. A Catholic, a Jew and a Presbyterian minister (my grandmother, my cousin, and my brother-in-law) were sitting around talking about the Virgin Mary
Feb 3, 2012