Virtually yours.

January 30, 2011 § 16 Comments

Your words come through the ether and appear on this screen.  Black on white, as if you are no part of the world that contains the trees outside my window, the dog asleep on my floor.  You shimmer in a parallel universe of over-excited electrons.

A moment in the real world--delivered virtually.

You claim to send posts from your car, your desk, the cereal aisle at the store, but you might as well be reporting from a space capsule circling the planet.

No matter how hard I reach toward you, I can’t touch you.

You send me this  : ) 

I get it.  You’re smiling.

If your real smile were that simple you would be sitting on a bench in the sun, drooling.  Your real smile is subtle, complicated.  Sad as well as happy, it proves that you are human.

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The window in the macaroni box.

January 20, 2011 § 8 Comments

I love this photograph of my grandparents, Giuseppe and Giuseppina Bontempi, both young, both movie star good-looking.

I never knew my grandmother who died when my mother was in college, but that handsome young man with the shock of black hair was an important part of my growing up. He lived with my family, although by the time I knew him he was quite bald and went by the Italian familiar name for grandfather, Nonno.

In the era when gears and pulleys and levers moved the world and electricity was at its humble beginning, my grandfather, a mechanical engineer, spent his working life as an inventor.  An inventor for hire.

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The middleman, George.

January 13, 2011 § 9 Comments

When I was nine I yearned for, and saved for, a transistor radio.  It promised to be my passport to the late night airwaves, to rock and roll, my backdoor sneak into being a teenager.  It did all that, and more.

I carried that radio with its heady smell of new plastic everywhere, and at night hid it under my pillow, hoping my sister, Claudia, who slept in the upper bunk wouldn’t hear me listening to WABC and WMCA.  Speaking right into my ear, Cousin Brucie and Scot Muni welcomed me out of childhood.

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What I’ve figured out so far.

January 7, 2011 § 16 Comments

Wisdom accrues in small increments, the natural result of being alive with your eyes open.  Here, in no particular order are a few things that seem, at least to me, to be true.

Like a Babushka doll, my younger selves are nestled inside the one the world sees.  To me the least familiar is the one on the outside.

Whose face is that in the mirror?  It must be my mother’s.

Orphans are popular in children’s fiction.  My own orphan character is named Anna Casey.  I admit, writing about an orphan is a cheap trick.  The scariest of all possible tragedies, the mere idea of being orphaned engages a young reader.  But unless we die young, we all become orphans.  Even at fifty-five, the experience was as scary and tragic as I’d feared. Orphanhood can strike at any age.

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