Consider the Lowly Hermit Crab

I first read about the hermit crab in Barbara Kingsolver's essay collection, High Tide in Tucson. In this true story about a stowaway crustacean, Kingsolver creates a lively lyrical first person narrative, in which the crab becomes a metaphor for how creatures habituate to their environments. Indeed, the hermit crab makes good metaphor. When you feel cramped, find a new shell to call … Continue reading Consider the Lowly Hermit Crab

Of Madeleines, Monuments and Memoir

A man at a party praised my husband for his determination to read all three volumes of Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past — a literary tome, which “[in]several thousand pages, retraces the course of [the Frenchman's] adolescence and adulthood, democratically dividing his experiences among the narrator and a sprawling cast of characters.” “Remembrance of Things … Continue reading Of Madeleines, Monuments and Memoir

It’s a Beautiful Day for a Neighbor

Fred Rogers and his neighborhood exposed my secret skeptic. Perhaps it is the Virgo in me, or a tendency learned in my family of origin. But I am a doubting Tomasina. Will trust.  Must verify. No one can be that nice, I thought, while watching Liz watch Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. My preschool daughter kept her appointment each weekday … Continue reading It’s a Beautiful Day for a Neighbor

Well-behaved Bunnies Rarely Make Literature

“She’s going to be a great adult.” This nugget of wisdom, offered by my daughter’s 4th grade teacher during a school conference, was a comfort. Few teachers had recognized the diamond within my daughter’s core. Liz was not sweetly compliant, as most girls seem to be. She “questioned authority” before it became a bumper sticker. … Continue reading Well-behaved Bunnies Rarely Make Literature