You see, I want a lot.
Perhaps I want everything:
the darkness that comes with every infinite fall
and the shivering blaze of every step up.

So many live on and want nothing,
and are raised to the rank of prince
by the slippery ease of their light judgments.

But what you love to see are faces
that do work and feel thirst.

You love most of all those who need you
as they need a crowbar or a hoe.

You have not grown old, and it is not too late
to dive into your increasing depths
where life calmly gives out its own secret.

Rainer Maria Rilke / The Book of the Hours

(This via a wonderful profile of Tavi, who, every time I read about her, jolts me out of my lethargy and makes me want to create something.)

There are things I want to say about Boston but I don’t know how to say them yet. 

Here it is in brief: I struggled here but I loved it. I worked hard here and it worked. 

Here’s what’s next: Florida, like last summer. The state can be so ungraceful, so bleached and tangled and wild, but I love it anyway (the Gulf! taco stands! palm trees! tan lines!) and soon it will be my home. I’m going because it’s a good place for news and because there’s a place for me there at a newspaper I love. It hasn’t sunk in that, for once, I will get to live in a place for (at least) a year. I’ll get to make something of a home, with pots and pans, a bookshelf, favorite places in town. I will get to know a place without having to leave.

The next three weeks: Boston -> NYC -> NJ -> DC -> NC -> SC -> Florida.


Sunday reads! I haven’t published one of these reading lists in months, so it’s overflowing with the best essays, stories, journalism and books I’ve read in a long time. Features: The New Yorker, Leslie Jamison, roxanegay, good movies, Peggy Olson, pretty photos and a couple of things that will probably make you cry.

5 Things (6/29/14)


Saturday I sat on the floor in front of a great big window in my living room. I sat in the middle of a patch of sunlight. I read poems by Pablo Neruda aloud to myself. I sipped ginger tea. I stuffed slices of freshly cut mango into my mouth and let the my fingers get sticky enough that I had to suck on them a bit before I could use them to turn the page. 

There are times when I feel safe and absolutely IN my body. Times when the sun can reach me without overwhelming me with its heat and I can speak love into existence on the tail of sliced fruit. Sometimes, a mango is home and the smell of ginger can bleed you out.

Sometimes the feel of your mouth around your fingers is a reminder: 

This is mine. This is mine. This is only for me.

But I also try to hold on to the girl who was young and stupid enough to believe in foolish adventures, the girl who was equal parts ready to fall in love with you and hurl a ball peen hammer into your front windshield. I had a strength I did not realize, but one I did not forget. When I am restless and defeated and scared again, I tell myself this: that the greatest trip of my life came because I did not get the things I wanted.

I wish you the same.

But then, of course, there is the simple reality of living. Standing in the Trader Joe’s line tonight, trying to look placid and sober after four beers in the sun, I had the sudden, watery feeling that I’d probably be much the same anywhere. The details would change, there would be gas and parking, or Euros and visas, and yet, always Sunday nights. All lonely and sorrowful, the sun setting no matter what. The cashiers at whatever store, wherever it is, waving me toward them with the same bored hands, me blinking at them slowly and saying, “I can just put that in my bag. I’m not going far.”

Writer, reader, journalist. 21.

Into books, burritos, aimless walks and front porches.