December 30, 2018
Yesterday morning I walked into the kitchen and found stuff happening…Read More...
November 3, 2017
London, England, August, 2017 The woman who got on the bus ahead of me was white, as am I. I followed her down the aisle towards the only empty seats. An aisle seat was almost vacant. A black woman sitting in the window seat had most of her billowing cotton dress scrunched under her. She […]Read More...
July 27, 2017
SOUTH AFRICA: PART ONE
The few times we travelled together, my friend Judy and I had been roommates. We were never lost, just clueless. An example? We walked around Haight Ashbury, in California… in 1968…eating green grapes. Well they were so cheap. Boycott? Caesar who?
Green grapes also figure in one of Judy’s recent South African warm-weather winters. A year or so ago, she found a giant monkey on her kitchen counter.
This photo’s kind of shaky because Judy was. She was in the bedroom when she heard noises in the kitchen. Here’s what was going through her cupboards. Yes, a baboon. Speaking scientifically, baboons are huge and dangerous.
I believe Judy locked herself into the bedroom until her visitor left. Baboons live in troops – so most times, there’s more than one around.Read More...
February 27, 2017
“He collected aluminum storm doors, insulation, and never lost his love of trips to the dump.”
Obituary for Eric Boyden
A trip to the dump around nine at night used to mean you’d see The Bears. I pulled up one night, and there lined up, facing forward, pointing across the tiny scoop of valley were SUV’s with their lights on as if they were showing the movie at the drive-in. And around the SUVs were moms and dads and babies in arms and little kids looking over the edge of the pit, into the garbage. Slow and deliberate, three black bears moved across plastic bags hurled in earlier in the day.
One bear was much larger that the other two. That big bear appeared to be a powerful male. He picked up speed and there was nothing lumbering about his gait.Read More...
February 6, 2017
Before I bought my first house, I asked my father if he could “help” with the mortgage. We met in the house I was considering. It was bright daylight outside, but you’d never know it from where we stood…inside, looking out the living room window. The porch was under an overhang and hadn’t seen the sun since the early 1930s. It was a dark little house. Made darker by no electricity. It had been turned off. Actually it had been condemned but I didn’t know it and the real estate agent didn’t disclose.Read More...
December 16, 2016
Dear Ladies of My Writing Group:
I’ve noticed that back on March 1, 2014, we gung-ho Writing Ladies gave ourselves another exercise in our line of peculiar projects. Write a 600-word essay inspired by egg cartons. Ring any bells? Years later, here’s mine.
October 28, 2016
My summer ended with a crash. My body is still here, all in one piece, but my brain seems to be sitting in *bubble wrap*. Everyone, almost everyone, says: to talk about it, write about it or…dum-de-dum-dum…P.T.S.D. awaits you. P.T.S.D. stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But almost is my lawyer who says: “Don’t talk about it. Direct all questions to me.” HA! First of all, I don’t want anyone bothering her/him, and second, it would be on my dime. That part of my brain is still with me.Read More...
August 29, 2016
Before she was a pastor, Veronice Horne was a homeless alcoholic turning tricks in the streets in her first life. When I met her all I could think was “I want to be her when I grow up.”
A few years ago, I was working on a television documentary series called Divine Restoration about African American churches. I am a white, spectacularly secular producer and Ian Burns, the producer I was with, is also white. We were scouting churches in Newark, New Jersey—a desperate city like Baltimore as it’s portrayed in the TV series The Wi re. The 1967 Newark riots were responsible for most of Newark’s poverty even today. The flight of industries and the middle class out of the gritty city didn’t help.Read More...
July 21, 2016
The last time I saw a hooker in our back lane, she was trying her everything to satisfy a male client. They were in the open parking space across from our garage. I don’t know if it’s a comment on the hooker or me, but it was boring and I didn’t bother watching. It was still winter and she was dressed, or undressed, in something inappropriate for the cold weather part of this occasion. She was doing no harm but she was an undesirable element. Off with her head. The Queen of Hearts would have had a field day in this part of Toronto, circa 1984.Read More...
June 7, 2016
The new post is below. But first, a blog Comment and a hair update.
“Photos can Set You Off” (my last post—April, 2016) brought an e-mail backing me up. A close friend whose mother recently died wrote: “…after spending 2 days going through all the family photographs to make selections for the funeral…Yes, photos really can set you off!”
Hair. Starting in my teens, my hair has been radically changeable– long and blonde to short & merlot. Then a dark purple streak in the merlot (a hit in New York) and finally, enough! It’s growing out, still short and no one has dared put a name to the colour—brown, mouse, or gray. Au naturel would be fine.Read More...