About me

I spent my early years in Nyon, Switzerland, and then Bray, Ireland, before moving to the States when I was 20. While education never appealed to me during my years in the restrictive Irish school system, I found solace in learning as a non-traditional student, first at a community college, later at a hippie-inspired, student-centered and grade-averse college in the Pacific Northwest. I spent two years as a journalist at a weekly newspaper, then returned to school for my MA in English, an accomplishment that led to a surprising and wonderful offer to teach at a community college. I have been at that college since 1991, one of the lucky few in this world to have found a job I love.

I don’t like trying to encapsulate myself in a few words, but here goes anyway.

  • I’ve loved horses since I was three and I first saw one in Central Park. My mother recalled my reaction to them at that time, a yearning that haunted me for years. I pony-clubbed in Ireland, earning pony-money by babysitting. For more than a decade over here I had my own horse, only in the last year losing him because of divorce, finances and health. I miss him.
  • In 1999 my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Five weeks later, so was I. She died. I am alive. I owe her my life, and I wish to live with the same grace and courage with which she lived before her diagnosis and afterwards, till the moment of her death.
  • When my mother was dying, I saw something that confirmed what I have always known, that life is wonderful and mysterious and beautiful, and beyond our ability to fathom in any rational way. A dream, a bird, and the light in my mother’s head recreated for me what I first knew as a 10-year-old in Ireland–that God/Allah/Vishnu/the Absolute, whatever label you want to put on the mystery–is real.
  • I am Catholic with an interest in Buddhism.
  • My father is an atheist physicist who loves neutrinos. What he loves about neutrinos is their mystery.
  • I have a teenage daughter who lives with me. She’s an actor, the queen of drama, and a joy.
  • I am a pacifist, a vegetarian who recently began to eat fish occasionally for health reasons after 23 years with no meat or fish.
  • I have battled depression. Sometimes I am depressed. Sometimes I write about it.

3 responses to “About me

  1. I enjoyed your bio. Some interesting posts, as well.
    Stay positive.

  2. “I have battled depression. Sometimes I am depressed. Sometimes I write about it. ”

    You are beautiful, did you know that?

  3. I enjoyed reading some of your blogs. You write very well and should put some effort into writing a novel some day. I found the beginning of one of your blogs felt like the beginning of a novel . . . and I never have time to read much these days but I do enjoy reading blogs. Don’t let the depression hang around too long – you’ve got to pull yourself out of those periods of time – no one else can do it for you. convince yourself into being positive.

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