Thursday, July 18, 2024

Islander Essays

Writing from the Heart: Different isn’t weird

The other night at a small dinner, one of our friends said she had just come back from Charlottesville, where she attended her 20th Dave Matthews concert this year. Someone said, “You traveled 20...

Woodside Story: The boogeyman of old age

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It probably wouldn’t matter to us if the only downside to elderliness was, well, to put it bluntly, looking crappy. We do endure that awful specter; crepey skin, gray hair standing in tufts on...

Writing from the Heart: Opposites attract

We've all heard the expression “opposites attract,” and I have to admit that my husband and I are almost the perfect example of that phrase. And it was never more obvious than what happened...

Woodside Story: Ancestors

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So your mother was an opera singer who married an American G.I., and yet continued to keep her bonds with her arty and famous family members in Milan? And, get this: During World War...

Writing from the Heart: Don’t jinx it

When I got married, my husband wasn't into sports — playing or watching. He didn't know the NBA from the NFL. And I loved that about him. When the men would gather in groups...

Woodside Story: Strength training

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It’s not just kids who dream about being superheroes. I’m thinking everybody at every age would like to be stronger. Tougher. When I was a wee one back in the 1950s, I adored the...

Writing from the Heart: Christmas envy

Every year at this time ever since I’ve been a writer, I have written about my Christmas envy. How I wished I could go to my attic or my basement and get out the...

Woodside Story: No need to panic

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We think we prepare for being old — or, to use a more shuddery word, elderly — but we don’t, do we? We back away, don’t we? And then suddenly we have to face the...

Hanukkah traditions at my house

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Hanukkah feels like the most family-focused of Jewish holidays I celebrate. So, despite technically being a "minor" holiday (unmentioned in the Torah), it's highly anticipated. For one of our eight yearly nights of Hanukkah,...

Writing from the Heart: Impermanence

My teacher, Ram Dass, used to tell a story about a guy who had a painting of a sunset. Most of the painting is blah, gray, kind of nothing. But in the right-hand corner,...

Writing from the Heart: Now is the time

Many folks who take my Writing from the Heart workshop say they have been technical or medical writers, and just want to try being creative with their words. Others have said they want to...

Writing from the Heart: And what does she do?

Yesterday I changed the toilet paper roll for the first time in 20 years. No, we haven't been using the same original roll for 20 years. It’s just that I, me, Nancy Aronie, haven't...

On My Mind: Writer’s pause, a.k.a. writer’s block

In “The Book of Two Ways,” Jodi Picault writes that people are artists because “there’s something inside you that you can’t keep from spilling out. Maybe it comes in the form of sentences, or...

Writing from the Heart: Wishes aren’t warnings

“Be careful what you wish for” has been rolling around in my head forever. Because the way people would say it sounded as if it were a negative thing. Like a warning. I never...

Visiting artists Gretchen and Jackie Baer

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I was driving into Vineyard Haven on a Sunday to offer Sound Healing at Camp Jabberwocky in late August, and realized I had not visited artist Jackie Baer, and her daughter, artist Gretchen Baer,...

Writing from the Heart: The middle way

Many, many years ago, I went to a meditation retreat, and at the end, we all lined up and one by one we each met the lama for a very brief connection. I could hear...

Writing from the Heart: Good enough

“What other people think of me is none of my business.” A mantra I repeat now and then, just to remind myself to be myself. I only need to hear it when I'm feeling that...

Three wash-ashores

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Although some of my dear friends are lsland-born, most of us have been coming here for generations as “wash-ashores.” The Urban Dictionary describes a wash-ashore as “a newcomer to a coastal or island community,...

Writing from the Heart: Slow down, Turbo

My son Dan used to look at me with a cute grin on his face and say “Mom, slow down, Turbo!” It became a little private joke, and all I had to do was...

Writing from the Heart: Right ranting

WHY AREN’T PEOPLE RUNNING  DOWN  THE STREETS MUTTERING? WHY AREN’T THEY OUTRAGED”!! What is wrong with people!!! So you already know this is my husband’s rant that he has been ranting since 1966. That was...