Thursday, July 18, 2024

Islander Essays

Writing from the Heart: Compassion fatigue

A few years ago, a friend of ours was diagnosed with a rare blood disease. We didn’t even have to do a meal train. We were on it before anyone asked. His wife was...

The Tisbury Street Fair: One to remember

Tisbury’s Main Street hummed this past weekend as hundreds congregated to commemorate the town’s 152nd birthday. A tableau of local businesses, musicians, vendors, and organizations greeted the festivalgoers. Children swept past, trailing multicolored strands...

Writing from the Heart: RIP, Alan Arkin

Was this the summer you did the stupidest thing ever? No? Well, it was for me. I wrote a two-page letter to Alan Arkin. That wasn’t the stupid part. Before you start imagining, he did...

Searching for steamers?

I was born a forager, a natural hunter-gatherer: Clamming, berrying, lobstering, crabbing, the first to spot the wild asparagus before it went to wispy seed, the first to predict the arrival of migratory alewives...

Writing from the Heart: Life goes on

I was going to start a piece with the following: I thought I couldn't live without Arnie Reisman. Paul Selwyn. Bob Dente. My son Dan, my sister Margie, my adorable mother. My funnier-than-anybody father. My...

Writing from the Heart: Ancestors

I want ancestors. Well, obviously I have some. Everyone does. But I want to connect with mine. I want to see them. I want to hear them. I watch Henry Louis Gates’ “Finding Your Roots”...

Writing from the Heart: Learning what ‘hard’ really is

Many years ago, I was on the beach with my husband, who was reading an article in Newsweek. “Listen to this,” he said as he paraphrased. “Man is an animal. Man is supposed to...

Writing from the Heart: Chilmark fantasy

I am sitting on the outside patio at the Chilmark Tavern, happily devouring my Middle Road Honey and Citrus Panna Cotta, when Jenna comes out and says, “Ted and Mary want you to come...

Writing from the Heart: Check the date

My kids used to look at the expiration dates on food when they were perusing what their teenage bodies were craving in that big humming General Electric icebox holding all manner of possibilities. They...

Writing from the Heart: Like good wine

A few days ago, I went to a dear friend’s 75th birthday party. The invitation said no gifts, but to bring a funny quote on aging. Typical me — I only read as far...

Writing from the Heart: Eating your grief

“What was your grief food?” my friend Cindy says, as I am handing her the black bean soup I brought as my offering in what I know must be her darkest hour. Condolence calls...

On My Mind: Beyond traditional talk therapy

In good psychotherapy, we feel listened to, understood without judgment, and cared for. In doing so, it helps us feel safer, kinder, wiser, and happier. With the help of cognitive and behavioral tools, we...

The act of protest

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“Handful of senators don't pass legislation And marches alone can't bring integration When human respect is disintegratin' This whole crazy world is just too frustratin'” –P.F. Sloan, “Eve of Destruction” (1965) P.F. Sloan wrote Barry McGuire’s one and only...

Writing from the Heart: (Un)reality

The movie "Everything Everywhere All At Once" is nominated for an academy award. My husband and I just might be the only people who didn’t love it. We just didn’t get it. It reminded me,...

Writing from the Heart: Antique lace

Yesterday I took a walk on Lucy Vincent. When we got to the pond I had a sudden flash of a distinct memory. So many years ago every weekday morning, I would ride my bike...

In the chair

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“Penny Lane, there is a barber showing photographs of every head he's had the pleasure to know, and all the people that come and go, stop and say, ‘Hello’.” We all know that tune. It’s...

Writing from the Heart: Compassion fatigue

There’s a pile of three nickels on my table. The VFW sends them twice a year with their fundraising envelope. They peel off very easily. No residual, yucky, gooey stuff. Should be easy peasy...

Writing from the Heart: The case for living memorials

I went to a memorial a few days ago. One speaker after another got up and told these amazing stories. I knew him slightly. It was really his wife I was there for. But...

Writing from the Heart: Keeping your heart open

God, this lamb korma is good. And the rice, the rice has whole cumin seeds! I love those. My husband and I are eating at the new Indian restaurant in Oak Bluffs. I’m so happy...

Writing from the Heart: Do something different in 2023

I always make my New Year’s resolutions after New Year’s. It doesn't really matter when I make the list, since it always starts with the same thing: Quit sugar.  Which is why I have to...