Spooky Action

    Spooky action at a distance. She scrubs the dishes, dipping her hands into water just this side of scalding hot, white well-formed hands now aging, trapping the suds in the momentary pruning of the skin. I never absorbed this particular brand of religious fervor, her fear of doing, weight gain and that almost-midwestern accent that longs to be country. Thick thighs and a tendency to go gray early — this is what she has bestowed upon me. Not the certainty, far from it, of righteousness.

  For how many years floating, drifting, feeling an ebb and flow on this wide ocean of dim rooms, street glare in the sun and dust, strangers, when all it would take would be for someone to really look to pin me down? Until then, I exist in all possible states.

What lasting impression have we made on each other, my dearest friends? I’m talking about more than the white memory of fingers on an arm. Something at a deeper level is changed forever when our paths crossed. In Washington, you sit reading to your three babies, a fourth on the way. If I don’t call much or send birthday cards, it is because I don’t feel the need to talk when you live inside me. In L.A. you write secret stories at midnight, make stories as you live them. Have a fling with a movie star with a row of cowboy boots in his closet, bake cookies for your son’s sleepovers. No star is brighter than your heat. But, like me, no one looks. So you drive into the desert and sleep in the spin of stars.

The Psychology of a House

Abigail Swire

life as a house 1

I spent a lot of time explaining to my wonderful high school students how a word’s connotation differs from its literal meaning. The most ready example is “What do you think of when you hear the word home? How is a ‘home’ different from a ‘house’?”

Well, they said, home is where you feel comfortable. And safe. And loved.

Some people spend their whole lives looking for home.

Plenty of research is out there to tell you how your home or office space impacts your physical and mental health. Obviously, it should not have mold in the walls. Tripping over vagrants on your way up the stairs tends to be dirty and depressing, as is finding any human waste or remains on the threshhold. (According to a friend who rented a cheap apartment in New Jersey).

Plants green up a space and make it come alive. Blue light should…

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