We are Wonders of the Universe

They were strangers to me. One I had met the Sunday before and spoken with for about five minutes. The workshop host I had admired mostly from afar and met with to set up the workshop. The group had a mother and daughter in it, but otherwise, they appeared to be as unknown to each other as they were to me. Now, we, this group of strangers, were...

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That is Life

Last night, riding home, we watched the clouds pass across the moon, revealing and retreating. Gandy, the boys, and me—tracking, commenting, announcing our sightings when the moon revealed itself. Sighing when it hid its light. A normal night turned magical. * The youngest...

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The Art of Canoeing

When I married the first time, my parents gave me a bed as my wedding gift. A fancy, romantic, four-poster bed. It was what I asked for. By the time I quit that marriage, my husband hadn’t had sex with me in a month of Sundays. When I married this time, I asked for a canoe. Canoeing, like love, is not for the faint of heart. Unlike love, however,...

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Those People on the Wall

I know what my ancestors looked like because their portraits hung on the wall. This is something I’ve always taken for granted. The portraits hang at what we call “505” (the house has a real name under the National Register of Historic Places—the Joseph Henry Morris House—but no one calls it anything but 505.) This man, the...

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Central Station Hotel

When I heard Memphis developer Henry Turley was renovating the old central train station into a hotel, I was ecstatic. When I heard he was turning the current ticket office for the train into a bar, not so much. I ride the train. I use the ticket office and waiting area when coming and going on the train. I did not want developers to take a...

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South Main, Y’all

In my neighborhood, Saturday mornings are: guests brewing on the sidewalks outside coffee shops women so new to their bicycles that I walk in the street to stay safe an elderly hat-wearing man who could be a prophet or celebrity. Or homeless. headphones and horn honks and posing for photos in front of the Blues Museum cowboy boots...

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NOLA Magic

Do you ever find yourself quoting yourself from an earlier conversation you’ve had? Me, too. So here’s a post I posted on Facebook recently. I thought I’d share it with y’all. Tom and I walk Evangeline down the street, and I remember when we first arrived in New Orleans almost eight years ago. I spent every day...

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Memories Unearthed by Dorian…

She was young, the same delicate age as my vulnerable grandson is now. Full of pip, but spindly arms and legs, no bigger than a minute. All she’d ever known was the lapping of the Gulf, innocent of actual waves. Even so, had she grown up with the Atlantic, it wouldn’t have mattered. A riptide is a riptide. We were exploring our...

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As Naked as You Wanna Be

Each time we appeared in public, we wore fewer clothes. My sister, my cousin and I – Redbird Brain Productions – hit Capital Street the first time in long dresses, flouncy skirts and, for me, a full-length carrot costume. We were “Goon With the Wind,” a walking-float in the annual St. Paddy’s Day Parade. When we rounded the corner, 75,000 people...

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Flowers that Stink

I like flowers that stink. But then, growing up, I loved the smell of dry cleaning fluid that seeped through my grandparent’s Everyready Cleaners. Driving to their house, when we passed the linseed plant, I’d roll the window to suck in the sickly sweet air. Unwatched, I’d crawl into the back dash of Mamo’s Dodge to get close to the hot cardboard...

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