Celebrating sisters: Women’s History Month

Celebrating sisters: Women’s History Month

As many of you know from my book Myopia, a memoir, my mother was disabled by an aneurysm at my birth. For the next few years, she was in and out of the hospital for surgeries and forced to take heavy-duty medication that left her sleepy and depressed. My sister was eight years old at the time. Some sisters would have blamed me. After all, she was only eight and very angry at the loss of the mother she had known before I was born. My mother had graduated first in her class in mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1930s. She was a brilliant and talented woman who was suddenly, overnight, no longer engaged in life. But instead of trying to get rid of me or ignore me, my sister embraced me. She turned the love my father was too busy to receive, and my...

DACA Dad: What If…?

DACA Dad: What If…?

My father did not become a citizen until he was an adult. He fled the Russian pogroms to create a better life. Gratitude can shape some pretty good citizens. My sister is now an activist and works for the rights of immigrants. I am so proud of her. I did most of my activism during the 1960s and 1970s, although I do sign many petitions and support special candidates and causes. We were on the phone chatting last week, when she said something that really made me sad. When I researched our father’s papers for Myopia, a memoir, it was the first time I realized that my father did not become a citizen until he was an adult. What the reason could be for this is only speculation. I am sure that they were too busy surviving to consider this issue. They had no money and...

Never Can Say Goodbye…

Never Can Say Goodbye…

Just like the song, I struggle with goodbyes. Many of us do. But if we don’t say goodbye and instead say “see you soon,” we can end up having friends all over the country, as well as friends all over the world. This is how I have chosen to view my dear friend and sister and Turkish teacher Muhsine’s move to Dallas. Where will I go for iftar next year? Perhaps I will go just a bit further south of Placitas. That this would happen so soon after my right arm and publicity person, Carolyn Flynn, announced that she was moving to New York, may give me false hope. Carolyn (thank you, thank you, thank you) is moving back! Might this also happen with Muhsine? I would not wish such disaster on anyone, and I am happy for Muhsine and her family, as I was happy for Carolyn,...

My Sister’s Living Room: A Reading and Signing for What Survives in Denver, Colorado

My Sister’s Living Room: A Reading and Signing for What Survives in Denver, Colorado

For animal lovers, I repent. There are none in this blog but the human kind! Stay tuned for more four-legged creatures in future blogs. I do not like to disappoint! Even though there were five inches of snow on the ground on April 29, we were an even dozen gathered for a reading and signing at home of my sister, Gay. I thought I had the best book club anywhere, but my sister’s is, at the very least, clearly on a par with mine. Everyone had read the book (not the case in all book clubs), and they had excellent questions and comments. One lovely couple had lived in Egypt for a number of years and raised interesting issues with regard to the Muslim faith and the observance of Ramadan. Paula stated that if one had a medical exemption from fasting (as Adalet did),...

Watch the Dung Beetle

Watch the Dung Beetle

Why I keep rolling forward to a sweet new career I am haunted by dreams of going back to college, at my current age, no less, and with a full head of gray hair. I am living with an assortment of strange young people in dorms or apartments with filthy kitchens, sinks piled with dirty dishes, and no drawers or closet space. The only restaurant in any of the many hallucinatory towns I come upon in sleep has thin soup, mashed something or other and saltine crackers. There is only one book for four classes or four books for one class, but in none of these towns does the college bookstore have any of the texts I need. I am never registered for the semester until I’ve missed too many classes to obtain credit for attending. I show up anyway, once I search forever to find...

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