On Fear and MotherhoodMoments, Parenting

On Fear and Motherhood

When I was thirteen I applied to my first writer’s workshop. I sent a thick packet of papers in an envelope I’d lifted from my father’s office store room, where shelves lined the walls with boxes of binder clips and ink for stamps. I wrapped that tension tie tightly with string. I sent off the words and went about the business of ninth grade. What I’d written that day when I sat down at the brand-new Hewlett Packard was stupid, really. Embarrassing. Trite. The kind of adolescent poetry whose sugary sweetness causes cavities as the words are read. But buried in the third paragraph was a single point of truth. She’s afraid she hasn’t been in enough pain to write well.  …

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A Course of ObstaclesEssays

A Course of Obstacles

I dropped my shoes in a corner of the kitchen and emptied what remained of a flat Coke-a-Cola in the sink. I really need to scrub it with bleach, I thought, noticing the coffee stains and dark scratches on the white of the porcelain. I remembered I’d had the same thought the previous night before bed. I’d gone on to dream of circling the drain. Shining the sink had been a nightly ritual I’d long abandoned. Other things on the list of things-let-go: Making the beds. Folding the clothes. Showering daily and after-lunch walks.    Getting back in the habit would get me out of this rut. Maybe I’ll get around to it tomorrow. I looked up. Every surface was littered with the debris of our lives. …

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