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Iceland

It was dark when we arrived, and the fields of black lava were covered with snow from the largest snowfall ever recorded there. My two sisters and I had discussed taking a holiday together for years. With the clock ticking faster now, we figured we’d better do it soon and chose Iceland in February/early March. We drank coffee(…)

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In a pickle

Glad you’re in this pickle jar with me, old friend. You too, new friend; and you over there and there and there and across the sea and over (also under) the rainbow. In a Pickle We’re in a pickle We are, we are And what’s worse is The pickle’s in a jam   And then we wonder(…)

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Playing hooky

Last night I spoke at an event inside grand old St. Bart’s on 50th and Park. Afterwards I began meandering and (though I hadn’t planned to) eventually walked the entire way home, about four miles. It was winter, a bit blustery, stimulating; the streets weren’t crowded, late-working folks were leaving work or heading somewhere, hurrying decisively, criss-crossing to and fro(…)

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From Belarus to New Zealand

The instructions were: Pack lunch/dinner and snacks and bring water Make sure you are hydrated Get a good nights sleep the night before No back-packs or bags – exception: 1 clear bag 12 x 12 x 6 gallon, one bag 8 x 6 x 4 Bring cash Bring credit card Bring cell phone battery back-up Bring(…)

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Milosz in Krynica spa and tonight

I first read Czeslaw Milosz while hiding out in Krynica spa in southern Poland at a hotel called Paradiso. I read him again now while hiding out on the twelfth floor – 12F. Milosz encountered strong headwinds through his long life, especially during the Warsaw years. He wouldn’t mind, I’m sure, if I borrow from the ballast he acquired(…)

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Marinating the election in salt water

Have been speechless since the election. All wherewithal has drained out through the soles of my feet. Just want to get under the covers: K.M. wrote:  “He acted beyond badly, said things that were beyond repugnant and was thus rewarded. That feels so deeply destabilizing to me. My only solace is that in times of strife and(…)

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Suspenders

The new khaki jeans I spied at an Army-Navy-type place on 7th Avenue (unbeknownst to me) buttoned below (not at or above) the waist; otherwise they fit like a dream. I grabbed s pair in my size, paid up, went home, slipped them on, felt great. As I am way overdue with refreshing my wardrobe one item at a time, with these jeans, I(…)

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Failure

Only one of the many tomato plants growing all summer in my little garden-patch has ripened – the rest remain green. Granted the unripened are beautiful, photogenic shades of lime-green, grape-green, Moldovan-green, but green is not red is not ripe. Whose failure is it: Mother Nature? The sun or lack of? Could it be that a my tomato plants were strangled by morning(…)

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Breakfast at Malibu

  My much appreciated neighborhood friend Louise [the admirable painter Louise Fishman] gets a very high score for spontaneity. Over the past dozen years one or the other of our phones will often ring between 8 and 2. One voice will ask, “Breakfast?” The other will respond (usually), “Sure.” One or the other will lock in the time, “See(…)

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Iceberg lettuce

  My sister Nancy (owner of the sublime, cozy, popular Arbor B & B in High Falls, New York) and I discussed iceberg lettuce this morning in the dark way before dawn as an upstairs smoke alarm made ping-ing sounds every minute or so. Because guests were asleep Nancy restrained herself from rushing upstairs to disarm the alarm. Meanwhile, we recalled(…)

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