We Need to Take Care of Our Endings

They’d likely not vacation together again, for more reasons than the woman would get into now. Needless to say, a day was just right. They stopped for ice cream before returning home, letting the summer day run long. She remembered how she used to have such a hard time saying goodbye, letting go. She still did.

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Thoughts About Class Privilege (from the McDonald’s Drive Thru)

It’s not pretty to look at the parts of ourselves that exemplify the things we say we’re against — entitlement, white privilege, intellectual snobbery. But to not look at these, to choose to stay cloistered, sheltered, more “successful” in ways society recognizes and values, and what we may have been taught would be “safer,” is inexcusable for anyone who claims to care about justice and humanity.

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When Denial Is No Longer an Option

In the end, it’s a quality of being honest that is liberating. For so long, I wasn’t fully honest. I lied outright about some things, like smoking, and in a more subconscious way about deeper things, things that I didn’t have names for, things that were so big I was afraid to expose them.

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“Supposed to” Is the Death Knell of Creative Ease

I got up out of bed. I put on jeans and a sweatshirt and peed and brushed my teeth and had coffee. I prepared French toast for Pearl with a birthday candle in each piece — much easier to blow out than 12 + 1 for good luck! I navigated some choppy mothering waters and even got us safely to shore (aka school) through some mild rapids.

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Outgrowing My Fear of Anger

Take some time soon to write about anger. Set a timer for 10 minutes and make a fast and furious list (see what I did there?) of associations you have with anger. You could simply start with “anger = …” and go from there, returning to this equation if you get stuck.

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The Poet’s Role in a Crumbling Democracy

But here’s the thing: If I am to move my writing more into a political sphere — a periphery I’ve circled and danced inside of for as long as I’ve been writing — I have an obligation to do so in a way that calls attention not to myself but to those who really have something at stake.

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The Self-Abandonment of Envy

Once, when I asked a client what she imagined when she pictured her “ideal writing life,” she said, “Well, I really like yours.” I was so taken aback. I couldn’t decide in the moment how to respond. I was flustered. Part of me felt a surge of anger, like, no, you can’t have mine. It’s already taken. Part of me wanted to laugh. Here was a woman who had cashed out from her years in the private sector and basically had the freedom to do whatever she wanted; no partner, no kids…. oh, waitaminute, could she be lonely? Longing for family life? Was she envying me?!

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On Boundaries, Shabbat, and Not Neglecting the Soul

That’s exactly it. Taking these 24 or so hours “off” is really a chance to get quiet, to go inward, to look in the mirror, to turn away from the output and towards what is closest. The circles of what’s sacred to me are all beautiful, and when I disregard my soul in the busy mix and the caring for and focusing on others, something gets lost.

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Why I Don’t Feel Proud of America

Yes, there has been social and economic progress. But you don’t have to look hard or far to see the cracks in this perspective. It’s a distinctly white perspective, and one that rests on tremendous privilege.

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Poetry, Politics, and Privilege

I am a bundle of fear and rage and love and confusion. I went for a run this morning, and I looked at each person’s face I passed by. A delivery guy. An older gentleman walking his dog. A woman with a briefcase waiting for the light. A man smoking a cigarette on a bench. A child watching in awe as the firetruck backed out of the station, holding his grandfather’s hand. I ached.

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