by Sara Whitestone In a small Virginia town I mistakenly make an illegal U-turn. A police officer immediately pulls me over. I immediately start crying. These are not crocodile tears; instead they flow from the mortification that I did something wrong and will have to (rightfully) face the consequences. And yet, there are no consequences. … Continue reading Being Wrong, Being Right, and Being a White Woman of Privilege
by Julie Riddle I miss Laura Bloxham. She died in November 2019, and even though she had coped with significant health issues for years, her death was still unexpected. After she had become homebound, I would visit her every few weeks. Our wide-ranging discussions would always include books: what we were reading and planned to … Continue reading Where Learned Poems, Loved Books and Lost Friends Live
by Sara Whitestone January 21 “Well, Mom, it’s been 14 days, and Zhi and I have no symptoms,” my daughter tells me over the phone. This is the first I hear of the coronavirus. Rachel met Zhi while he was finishing his masters degree in Chicago, but Zhi grew up in Yichang China. As they … Continue reading Landslide
by Amanda C. R. Clark Available for purchase is a perfume named “Paperback,” another called “Replica: Whispers in the Library” (which claims to smell like paper and waxed wood), and an oil titled “Library,” which claims to allow you to “Indulge in a cozy day cuddled up in a nook of bookshelves. The smell of … Continue reading Perennial Loves: The Book and the Academic Library
by Ann Marie Bausch I must confess: just the idea of writing about discomfort made me, well, uncomfortable. We live in a frightening world. Many of us walk our days carrying the traumas of the past and our fears for the future just under our skin, and the platitudes offered up for how to deal … Continue reading Make it New: Discomfort Zones
by Susannah Brister Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” I have always hated New Year’s resolutions. Every year I faced January 1st full of stolid determination, ready to jog more miles, go to bed earlier, be more generous, eat less sugar. My list of “shoulds” and … Continue reading Make It New: Unresolved
by Liz Backstrom There ought to be behind the door of every happy, contented man someone standing with a hammer, continually reminding him with a tap that there are unhappy people. -Anton Chekhov About three years ago I went to church. It was shortly after the election of 2016. I didn't know it, but that … Continue reading Make it New: Crossing the Fence
by Karen Bjork Kubin The fact is, the jeans found you. Or, technically, your husband brought them home in a pile of thrift store denim and one pair fit—but not just fit, they fit well: slim in the right places, forgiving in the right places, not too short or too long. They turned out somehow … Continue reading Make it New: Mending
by Julie Riddle During my annual eye exam last November, I asked my optometrist if she was ready for the “2020” jokes she’s sure to hear from patients in the New Year. She looked at me blankly. Then she smiled and chirped, “Ha! I hadn’t thought of that!” I was instantly troubled by why I … Continue reading Make it New: Letting Go of 20/20 in 2020
by Laura Bloxham
When I was in grade school I lived for summer reading programs at the local library. If I read so many books or so many pages, I could qualify for prizes. Usually the top prize was a ride through town on a fire engine. I qualified for that prize after the first month.
When I was in junior high school I looked forward to reading in bed all day, reading classics with big classic stickers on the spine. I read Crime and Punishment and Mansfield Park until my eyes were bleary. Then I’d put a sweatshirt over my nightgown to make myself presentable for supper with my family.
In my adult years I’ve had various summer reading plans. During my college summers, I read Faulkner novels. For ten years or so I read Dickens novels. Of course I read many other books as well.
Because most of…
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