…out of hand

67. What the hand does the mind remembersMaria Montessori Your hands are more familiar to you than your own face.  Every crease and freckle, the corner of your thumb that cracks in winter, the sweeping lines of your palms.  You are fascinated by other people’s hands too, how deeply intimate it feels to look atContinue reading “…out of hand”

…a history of classrooms

66.The first classroom you remember has a high ceiling, high windows, a plastic trough where you play with water.  There are books that are read to you while you sit cross-legged on the floor, your feet tingling with pins and needles.  You sit at your desk pondering over workbooks that have puzzles and questions, theContinue reading “…a history of classrooms”

…things you have lost

64.You have lost the tattooed lemon that lived in your freezer for many years.  The lemon was illustrated by your daughter during her apprenticeship, the waxy yellow skin bearing a swallow in vivid blue and yellow and red.  It was one of the most precious things you owned, and was lost during a busy fewContinue reading “…things you have lost”

…in praise of dreamers

62.Sometimes, when the rain comes, you take it as a sign to let the days arrange themselves.  You and your lover wake up late, drink coffee in bed, listen to the pigeons skittering against the window.  You eat breakfast after noon, tear olive bread and pour red wine, you read poetry and watch old films. Continue reading “…in praise of dreamers”

…birth of a story

61.Twenty-one years ago a new story was born.  It is a classic story of birth and death, and the coming together of unexpected events. It begins with the news report that Air France Concorde flight 4590 has crashed in Paris, killing all 109 people on board.  Your husband is a newspaper photographer so a fewContinue reading “…birth of a story”

…on road trips

53. Some of the best road trips are long-planned and desired, whereas others are best done impulsively, such as driving to the beach on a hot day, or going out looking for one thing and finding another.  But always the best trips are when the unexpected happens.  An unexpected place, an unexpected person, an unexpectedContinue reading “…on road trips”

…on cars

52. The car is a fragile thing.  If it hits another car its bonnet will buckle, its windscreen will shatter, the dashboard will crumble and fall around your legs where you sit in the passenger seat, and you are trapped.  There will be miniscule shards of glass in your hair, scattered like gems across yourContinue reading “…on cars”

…books in formation: 6 to 10

6. Winter Journal, by Paul Auster Auster writes his journal in the second person.  He is the you of his own story, but the reader is also the you of his experience, living with him and inside his mind.  And so my own you is born, a you who is both me and not me,Continue reading “…books in formation: 6 to 10”

…the collective thought of snow

48. You live in a town that likes to festival.  Back in 1861 the first was founded, an agriculture and cheese show that celebrated country life.  For a long time it was held in the small show ground within the town, its gentle slopes filled with stalls to supply all your country needs, cattle andContinue reading “…the collective thought of snow”

…a bed of many things

‘Then here again are two lovers, flesh pressed to flesh … their bed heaves as with the swell of the sea, whispers and sways, as if it were itself alive and joyful because it was seeing the consummation of the rapturous mystery of love.’from Le Lit, by Guy de Maupassant 47.The bed is a placeContinue reading “…a bed of many things”