life lately: cruel January

January is the cruelest month. In every place I’ve ever lived, even the South of France, it is bleak. It is the color gray. It is lassitude and chapped hands, seasonal depression and teeth-chattering chill. I wish we could skip it altogether. In France we are currently under a strict 6 pm curfew. This would feel utterly strange if there was anywhere to go, anything … Continue reading life lately: cruel January

if walls could talk

We can hear the bells from our living room. Every time they ring I get a tiny thrill. I glance outside at the pigeons and red clay rooftops and just for a second, it’s another era. It’s time travel (no sacrifice of electricity or indoor plumbing required). Our oldest, grandest neighbor, the collegiate church Notre-Dame-des-Marais of Villefranche-sur-Saône began to take shape in the 13th century. … Continue reading if walls could talk

composting the details

While avoiding writing today, I found a book on my shelf from the eighties called “Writing Down the Bones.” My copy is yellowed and studded with bookmarks–receipts, clothing tags, and the business card of a Californian sculptor. It’s not really my copy, but my grandma’s, and the book’s history only adds to its mystique. Hundreds of books are around that tell how to avoid bad … Continue reading composting the details

july sunshine: celebrating one year of clara

A first birthday is a powerful marker of time. When you have a baby, you have a new way to measure a year: in weight gain, in consonant sounds, in sleep patterns and in spoonfuls of purée. Each month takes on new color. In August, Clara laughed. In January, she ate bananas and avocados. In May, out popped a gap-toothed smile. In July, she hugged … Continue reading july sunshine: celebrating one year of clara