Category: Life in America

The Sound of One Voice Shouting in the Woods

 What is the sound of your own voice? — I have this innate impulse to apologize. This is not a permanent disposition by any means. I just happen to be “going through something” at the moment, and I feel exceptionally large and bulky: a bit like a Macy’s Day Parade balloon trying to navigate through…

Into the Zone – #reverb14, Day 4

Creativity is Subtraction art by Austin Kleon on Brain Pickings by Maria Popova

We are all lightning rods, conduits for that which the Universe wants born into this world. What energies did you channel this year? — While day 2’s post I sang my song of multitudinous life, there’s a hidden secret to what drives my writing. When I am writing, I am “in the zone.” It is…

It’s Just the Weather – #reverb14, Day 3

Just the Weather

It’s all too easy to put off loving where we are until everything is perfect. What can you love about where you are now? Blergh. If I were a weather man, that’s how I would describe the weather today. Cold, damp, rainy, grey. It’s all about the view. I look out my window and what…

On My Mother’s Island

All of life is a thing marked and used.This is the island where my mother is still living. There is not a great deal of the “normal” here. We are just a bunch of hangers on. For those of us here, we are eating off the breadcrumb trail from whence we came. There is a lot…

Life is Terrifying

Cam's Head on a Platter
I can remember one of the first really scary movies I saw.

It was “The Giant Spider Invasion.” That classic 2-star fave came out in 1975. Which means someone in my family let me see that film when I was FIVE! If I recall, it was at the drive-in.

For years and years afterward, I literally RACED up the steps of our split foyer home, anytime I was caught alone on the lower level. Just beyond the doorway, I was sure a giant spider was lurking, ready to pounce.

I love the big, unreasonable scares of Halloween. I love that feeling underneath my heart, the pit of doom in my stomach. I love the ghoulish decor and horrifying costumes. I love “Modern Family”‘s special, and all the other Halloween themed fun.

I take a pass on new fangled “safe” fun, like Trunk or Treat, or going for a spin with the kids in their costumes around the mall. The street where you live may be scary place: the mall is 100 times scarier.

I’m intrigued by those who have a distaste for Halloween terror and frights. Whatever its roots — whether in pagan history or Christian hallows — life itself is terrifying. It’s filled with war, cancer, ebola, racism, rape and major league worship of criminals. There’s bullying, mean girls, political machinations and just plain natural catastrophe. Some days, a zombie apocalypse seems like it would be an anti-climax.

I guess that’s why I love Halloween… it’s the day the dead, the weary, the twisted, the frightened, the entombed, the maniacal — finally getting a chance to feel free.

Here’s a few of my favorite Halloween videos. Enjoy:

Andy, going through the Haunted House:

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From Shaun of the Dead, greatest zombie film ever.


Alone is Where We Are

Randi Jane Davis Three Blind Men

The deluge came out in the general direction of Ridgefield artist Randi Jane Davis this past weekend at City-Wide Open Studios. Her painting (above), called “Three Blind Men” (in private collection) wasn’t the only wonderful piece of work I’d seen that day. But it was the one that reignited my feelings about aloneness. So Ms. Davis…

This is home

Happy at Happy Joe's in LeClaire

Two flights, five burgers at the Atlanta TGI Friday’s airport location. A bag of gummy Lifesavers, and of course, the real lifesavers: four headsets, an iPad and two iPhones with digital movies. One hour’s drive, and we are home. By home, I mean. HOME. Not Iowa, the place I grew up. I mean: here. Connecticut.…

Love, and Putting Out

The one true fact of being a girl is whenever or however you enter the world and, despite your best efforts otherwise, you are thrust into a world where you are expected to “put out.” Not just in the defined way you can imagine. In every way. Whatever we believe about our first world culture and equality in…

3 Ways to Remember Yourself

Boston Review has a poetry competition around the corner. I started collecting some of my unpublished pieces to send off for the event and found one or two I did not even remember writing. That because my writing “collection” is stowed “safely” inside my mac (and backed up!), stored as if it were some kind…

10 Reasons to Travel Back in Time

This past weekend, I had the chance to return to a place I once considered home: Kansas City. By home, I mean it was the place where I became the person I am now. I lived in Kansas City from the ages of 24 to 34. For those 10 years, I was single, except 2…

Notes from Inside the Train

Pyramid Electric Windows along Amtrak NER train 141

In Philadelphia, the quiet car fills up completely– so completely that I can’t keep my screen hidden from my seat mate. I don’t know him, but I know enough that he was kind. He gave up his window seat to a couple so that they could sit together. From WAS to PHI, the quiet car…

On Year 44

What All Those Birthday Wishes Mean to MeAs I walked from home to the playground today to pick up the kids, it occurred to me that — perhaps — at some point in one’s life it is considered “untoward” to make such a fuss about one’s birthday. Of course, not that I’ve ever given a…

In Love with ‘Love, Actually’

Love Actually Perfect

Because I forgot to take the bacon out of the freezer Christmas Eve, I got the chance to see “Love, Actually” again this year. It just so happens that this is the 10th anniversary of the film, and for some reason that means that people are thinking/talking about it and revisiting their dusty opinions of…

Why Not? She Asks Again – #reverb13 – Day 17

Wide Open Original photo by E. Howard

Resolve – Firmness of purpose; to solve a problem or a dispute. My word for 2013 was “resolve.” I dissected that word last December, and like any misguided wordsmith, instead of thinking “how does this apply to me” I just pulled it all apart and wrote in second person. I have a tendency to do…