Tag Archives : Musing



I’ve started working on the book again–after too long a break to deal with some distractions that sucked up my time–and it feels great to be writing again. I’m happy with the progress I made last November (during my failed attempt at NaNoWriMo) and I’ve jumped back in with both feet. I’m thinking a lot […]

Congo and Growing Up

I dug up some old journals the other evening and found a notebook I carried with me on my first trip to Congo. Reading it, I realized how much I’ve forgotten. The chicken that flew into our guesthouse room one morning. The plastic jar of Smucker’s grape jelly with Arabic writing on it. And how […]



Tonight, I’m sitting at my computer, drinking a cup of hot Trader Joe’s “Well Rested” tea (chamomile with accents of mint and lemongrass), listening as Jesse and some friends play music in the living room. They are practicing for a mutual friend’s wedding this month, and the songs are lovely. I can hear the piano, […]

The Elements: San Francisco

A little quiz. For those of you who know both Jesse and me, who would you say would be more likely to be the bleeding heart at the sight of sad-looking people holding out cups asking for spare change? (You answered me, right?) I mean, when I was a kid I once saw a man […]

San Francisco



Today, I’m remembering: Being newlyweds in Key West in the summer, the heat powerful and perfect, afternoon naps in a papaya-colored room. I remember eating Mexican food outside about an hour before sunset, music playing in a language I don’t understand, the sun winking just over a brown fence, behind a large ficus tree. Rain […]

Five Months Since Congo

Congo comes back in flashes–like, I’m blow drying my hair Sunday morning and I’m thinking about that first night in a Rwanda border town, eating plates of whole fish, fried, with heaps of thick french fries. How dark it was in the little restaurant, just a few dim bulbs for the room, shadows everywhere. Like […]


First Love

Marianne told me once that you always love the first place you travel to. We were in Japan when she said this, sneaking extra glances at a cute monk in a Tokyo temple. It was my first time overseas, and I assumed Japan would be “that place.” And it was, in a way, and I’d […]


I’m beginning to think I live in six-month cycles. That nearly everything that has been certain about the past six months is coming up for review. Maybe it’s just the new year. I said at the beginning that I felt 2009 was going to be a change year, and so far it has not disappointed. […]