Today, on the 27th day of Women’s History Month, I’m honoring the countless women who provide care for family members, and three outstanding women doctors who touched my life as I cared for my mother and later, my uncle. According to a study by AARP, there are more than 65 million Americans providing $450 billion […]
When celebrities like Angelina Joli, Joan Lunden and Hoda Kotb summon the courage to speak openly about their breast cancer, they offer an alternative to fear, hopelessness and isolation. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but for many, this awareness is year-round. My awesome artist-mother, Alice Steer Wilson, died of the disease in 2001. […]
When I saw this painting on Alice’s easel, I cried. She was going to die, and she knew it. That’s what I saw. My mother loved what she called “jumping off places” like this path across the dunes to the ocean. I couldn’t let the painting out of my life, so I bought it and […]
I am happy to participate in this writer’s round robin after being tagged by the lovely poet Lorraine Henrie Lins (thanks, Lorraine!). After I answer the questions, I’ll tag two additional wonderful writers. What is the working title of your book? The working title was The Alice Book or OK FOREVER: Alice Steer Wilson’s […]
Yesterday morning I made the final correction to the document that will become a book of my mother’s art life, with more than 200 images from her studio. What was the final change? The addition of the title “POEMS” on the copyright page . . . it’s interesting how many iterations it takes to get […]
Although I participated in two Thanksgiving dinners, I am feeling lighter than last week. Why? Because we finally buried my mother’s ashes in the Moorestown Quaker cemetery that she chose as her final resting place. The family gathered there on Saturday morning. We read and spoke of her love and the way she held us […]
OK, it’s not going to take me forever to do this book, but it is going to take longer than planned when I last posted on this blog. My mother’s journals were not blank, unlike those left to Terry Tempest Williams by her mother. The green post-its (above) mark passages to return to, share, possibly […]
I was chopping celery for dinner three weeks ago, when the chirpy Brit-Indian inflection of a BBC World announcer interrupted my flow:
Technology Giant Apple
the death of its cofounder
Why was Apple the subject of this sentence? As a Mac aficionado, I mourn the loss of Steve Jobs’ edgy spirit in this world, but as an Apple stockholder, I’m less concerned. “Technology Giant Apple” will survive, or not. I’m more interested in the way we speak about death, our public discourse. When did it become acceptable to frame loss of life in the syntax of a product launch? I left the half-chopped celery and walked into the next room where my husband Paul surfed Facebook. He had just learned of Steve Jobs’ death, also, but in the unscripted, human-centered messaging context of social media. Better.
My poem about letting go, and not letting go, “Explaining the Urn on the Dining Room Cabinet,” was selected by Lindsey Lewis Smithson for the current issue of The Coachella Review. In her blog, she congratulated the selected poets as having been chosen out of 1,000 entries. The issue has been up for a week now, I’ve posted on Facebook, but no response. Could it be that I’ve moved into territory we cannot acknowledge? In conversation, I’ve learned that many people have ashes of beloveds waiting in their homes. Can we talk about this?
Ten years ago, I grieved my mother’s recent death and turned my attention to the practice of writing and yoga. I still grieve, and practice. For me, this practice lights the path of letting go.