Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Vacancies and Writing and Buddhism and my favorite Sister

“What are your vacancies?” Bethany wrote in her blog, after writing about the voids she feels in her life sometimes. I don’t like thinking about mine. Most of the time I ignore them. If I’m to be honest, I realize my actions have disqualified me from karmic goodness. I abandoned my horse, essentially. Something has shifted in me, over the years, to feel a personal distaste at the idea of buying and selling horses. They connect with us humans, and then we sell them. They move into a life absent from us, and they could be abused or neglected, starved or overworked, and we don’t know.

Sometimes I wake to find I have been dreaming of my horse, and I wonder if he ever misses me. Does he wonder why I just disappeared? I know where he is, but I can’t bear to go visit him, although I know he is well treated. I didn’t sell him, either, though perhaps I could have made some money doing so. I just couldn’t do it. I gave him away to someone who loved him, and then turned away.

Another absence: I shared some writing with a writer friend who has been increasingly successful over the years. She gave me excellent advice, the kind that is at once helpful but also leaves one feeling somewhat down: “Why didn’t I see that? I should have known that.” But the advice was doable, reasonable, well framed. What silenced me was her comment about not really liking my style, although I have suspected for years that she would not choose to read anything I write if we weren’t friends. She has encouraged me as a writer, but she and I write differently. She doesn’t like my “Latinate” word choices, prefers simplicity and straightforward sentences composed with Orwellian transparency.

After her review, I couldn’t write. I sat down to do so and found myself silenced. No matter how much I understand intellectually that writers differ in their styles, and that one can appreciate a writer’s ability without particularly liking the style, I can’t emotionally move past the disappointment of my friend’s comment. And I can’t help but think of my mother, who didn’t like my style either. “It’s too flowery,” she said, every time she read something I wrote, and then inevitably turned to grammar. “You’ve ended this sentence with a preposition. You can’t do that.” Grammar and style. I could never get either one of them right.

I suppose there are other absences, but right now I don’t have time to think of them. I’ve been trying to write this for three days. Every time I start, someone interrupts me. It’s summer. I should have time, but I realize I’m busier than ever. I’m teaching two classes, and Zeke has driver’s ed, and her friends spend as much time here as at their houses, and the dogs need walking, and no matter how much I want to write, something holds me back.

And now, hours later, I return from an evening at Sister A’s house, where we talked about “I am the way and the truth and the light” and about Buddhism and Hinduism and her neighbors in the shelter house next door who bring her the raspberries they grow in their garden between bouts with alcohol. A homeless man stopped by for a sandwich, and the breeze blew the heat of the day away. “OK, I’m going to do my Buddha thing,” I said once, to prepare her and the others for another off-the-wall connection with Eastern religion — Buddha nature in this case. And she laughed and recommended a book by Diana Eck, and said, “You’ll like her, Adah.” This Saturday is her 60th Jubilee, and I’m going.

Right now, right this moment–long may it last–I feel no absence at all.

Retrospective 17: 1979 — Catching up with memories

I have forgotten so much, or filtered it. Chosen this rather than that to write about. How could I forget that when I was almost 12 — was that 1976? — I got my first pony. How could I forget that at eight I rode a “tinker’s” horse, which was staked by the side of the road near our house. I clambered onto his back, and brushed his tangled mane with my hairbrush. My mother found me and finally allowed me to enroll in riding lessons at a local riding school. I loved the owners: the tall lean man who trained jumpers and who moved about in the background with a quiet confidence; his wife, a short woman with a kind face and faded blue eyes; the four children, two of whom were close in age to me. I got home from school, changed and ran down the road to spend the afternoon and evening with them. I cleaned tack and mucked out stables and groomed horses for the chance to ride Rainbow, or one day, that equine goddess, Pearl. Weekends, holidays, for four years I spent every spare minute there. I remember cleaning tack and eating fresh-baked brown scores dripping with homechurned butter from the cow, Polly, from whom we got our fresh milk every day. I’d walk home at night with a bucket of steaming creamy milk, which my mother used for icecream and cheese, butter and everything else one needed milk for. Polly was tested for brucellosis and tuberculosis. She was clean and gentle, and her milk tasted of buttercups or wild garlic or whatever she had been eating. I have never loved milk since I left Ireland.

When Cathy was 14 and Jody and I about 12, the tall, lean horse-trainer with the dark eyes stopped his car one day by the side of the road and  died. A heart-attack. Cathy fainted in school when the nuns told her. Jody stood at my side, with wide, horrified eyes, as her older sister cried and cried. Afterwards they had to move into town, sell the farm and the jumpers, and get a smaller place. I saw them less and less often, though I always visit Mrs. R when I’m home in Ireland, in her house at the foot of Br*y Head. She has survived the years by making custom chaps and other leather work, and her eyes are the same as ever.

Sometime in those years my grandparents moved from Derry to our house. They were older, and my grandmother in a wheelchair. We had visited them frequently in the North since we’d moved to Ireland, but the massive old house in which they were living was too big for them to keep up, and we had a perfect setup in our home, with a spare bedroom, small kitchen, and living room upstairs that would accomodate Granny’s wheelchair. (Our house was built on a hill, so the front door went straight to the more luxurious upstairs rooms, while the back door entered the basement, which contained the children’s bedrooms and playroom, and the main kitchen with its large wooden table and benches for everyday meals.)

After Cathy and Jody’s father died, after Granny and Granddad came to live with us, I got my first pony, a 13.2 bay  “mutt” with a shaggy black mane and a habit of deliberately stepping on people’s toes. I loved her, tough. She was good to me. I began babysitting to make money for the blacksmith, for grain for her, for show entries. So I split my life between the world inside the house, with my mother and father and sisters, and the world outside, on my pony’s back, where I could be free and unencumbered.

Seeing the crows

The cliff reminds me. It always does. I pass it, and I remember. It is the shape of the rocks, the way they hold up the sky. There is a plateau there, above which the eagle rides the currents. I imagine the view, the river winding through the canyon, the hills stretching away, light-saturated. I imagine the wind soughing at night, and the cool black distance of the sky. I can’t imagine not being awed, not reaching towards it all.

The awe it inspires must be why it reminds me of what I saw.

I remember. It was the end of my marriage, and I thought it was the beginning of a new way of being married. I was writing a book about it all, with Nada in it, and me, and my ex. It was really about my mother, about the dragon bowl and missionaries in China and carved wooden Buddhas. But it was about me too, about Nada. I wrote the ending before I finished the book. It was a good ending, one I believed in. In it, my ex was going to be what I needed him to be. He was going to be like my father, patient with my young and restless mother, loving her enough to trust. He was going to be the man I married, who trusted me as I trusted him. But he was already crumbling. The more I begged him to trust me (and I was trustworthy still, then), the more he accused me. Nada, then still only a friend, was so gentle in contrast.

We went on a trip, my ex and I, trying to recover what was slipping away. We drove through the hills to my alma mater, walked through the woods to the beach. I got lost, in my mind, in memories, and wrote the ending of the story of my mother, which was wrapped up in my own story. In the end, my mother went back. She came into a clearing, and her husband was there, waiting. So was the light.

I thought it would be so. But only a few hours later, we drove to the ocean and booked into a lodge hotel. We threw our duffle bags on the bed and went for dinner. Back in our room, later, we slept, and I woke to thunder. When I got up, everything held still. I know what I saw.

I pulled back the curtains. There was thunder, yes, and lightning, in a place that was more like dream than now. There must have been water sleeting down the window pane. There must have been. But there wasn’t. I looked out onto a spit of land, grassy. A fire in the center. Wooden logs laid down like benches. People dancing, drumming, chanting. The wind blew, but it blew inside them. It held them. They sang to it.

“Look,” I said. “Look out the window. There’s people dancing.”

“Come to bed,” he said. “You’re dreaming. It’s pouring rain.”

In the rain, in the storm, in the very still heart of it, people danced around the fire outside the window. I saw them. I heard them. The chanting held me in thrall, winding as it was around the distant call of the storm. I smelled the smoke from the fire, felt its heat. I saw their eyes, the swirl of their hair, their sleek lean bodies dancing beneath the great black sky.

“Come look,” I said.

“Don’t be silly,” he said.

In the bathroom, I sat on the toilet with my head in my hands. I could hear them still. I could hear the rain sluicing down the window, and I could hear the dancers dancing. I looked at my face in the mirror and I was pale and my eyes were blackbright and horrified. I saw them. They were as real as my hands on the keyboard in front of me now. They were real.

In the morning, I got up and went to the window. I thought I’d find proof. A fire still smoldering, or at least a circle of rocks with dead gray ashes in the center. Logs laid around a circle, waiting for the next dance. I opened the curtains, looked out, and saw air and clouds and birds. The hotel was on a cliff. Beyond the window the land plunged down to water far below. The dancers had been dancing on air, on clouds, on what did not exist. Gulls swooped and soared where people had sat and drummed. What I saw had not been.

But it was. I am reminded of it every time — every time — I pass that certain rock formation in the canyon. The same spirit that breathed in the roiling air outside the window, in the clean, rain-washed space of my vision, soars with the eagle above the rock plateau. I don’t know what I saw. It was not real in my time. But there was something there, that night, that bridged time and space. Something of imagination and history brought together, of memory and projection. When I think, “What is real?” I know that what I saw that night was as real as what I see before me now.

In the morning, the wintry washed air breathed over me. I sat on a wall and watched three crows on an overhead line. Two sat together, rubbing heads. Another sat at a distance, watching them. I couldn’t figure out which crow I was. The one in the partnership, with Nada watching from a distance? Or maybe my ex was the distant crow, and I was with Nada. Or maybe I was the lonely one, and the two sitting so close, so lovingly together, were my husband and ….? Nada and …..? I didn’t know. I couldn’t tell which crow I was.

I was all of them. We all are. The dancers dance, and the rocks in the canyon are sacred. I saw what I saw. I saw the crows.

Nobody’s smoking

“Nobody’s smoking,” N said. Then he added by way of explanation, “Adah’s allergic to smoke.”

“Something’s setting me off.” I stood up. My chest hurt, I was coughing, and even if I couldn’t smell smoke and nobody around appeared to be smoking, my body was telling me something was in the air. I hate it. I hate having asthma, of being sensitive to chemicals like smoke and perfume and solvent. I hate that my asthma is cough-variant, so it always begins with coughing, which is so obvious and which people don’t quite believe in. I hate that on a lovely warm evening in June I can be sitting outside a coffee shop, watching my friends play chess, and suddenly start coughing, and have to leave.

“Nobody’s smoking,” is one sentence I despise. I’ve heard it so often I’d be rich if I had the copyright on it. But when I stood up and walked away from our table and looked around, I saw a man smoking about 30 yards away, behind a sort of divider, and the wind was blowing in the direction of the chess table. Even if none of us could smell the smoke, my body knew it was there. That’s always the case. Once I walked into N’s house and started coughing. “Nobody’s smoking,” his mother hurried to reassure me. I still coughed and eventually went outside. Then his brother came out, shame-faced, from behind the office door, at the end of the hallway at the far end of the house. “Sorry,” he said. “I was smoking in there a few minutes ago. I didn’t know you were coming over.”

Another time I was sitting on the porch, chatting with N’s parents and aunt, and I started coughing. “Hey,” N’s brother said as he walked around the corner. “I’m not smoking. Don’t look at me!” Nobody was smoking, but I was coughing. A moment later, N’s nephew came from next door. “Sorry,” he said, when he saw me using my inhaler. “My friends are smoking back there.” Then he stopped, looking puzzled. “Wait,” he said. “You can’t smell it from all the way over there, can you?”

“What direction is the wind blowing?” I asked. “I don’t have to be able to smell it to react it. If the wind is blowing it over here, it’ll trigger an attack even if I can’t smell it.” Sure enough, the wind was blowing from the back of the neighbor’s house to the porch where we were sitting.

“That’s amazing,” N’s aunt said. “You mean you’ll start coughing even if the smoke is behind the house and no one can smell it?”

“If it’s in the air and I breathe it, my lungs seem to know,” I said. “It’s a bit absurd.”

What it is is bloody irritating. I was enjoying watching N and J slaughter each other in chess. Actually I love the intricacy of their games. J is rated 1900, so is quite good, and N’s been getting steadily better, so that he plays some quite close games against J, though he usually gets mated in the end game when they’re down to pawns, maybe a piece each, and their kings. This evening we were attended by a couple of young boys who were fascinated with the game. “Can I play one of you guys?” one of the boys asked. “I love chess.” He elbowed his friend. “Watch this,” he said, winking as he sat down opposite J.

J played as he always does, carefully, systematically, as though he were playing a seasoned opponent. Within about two moves it was obvious the boy had no idea how to play against someone with J’s experience. The kid was still gleefully throwing pieces away in anticipation of a grand mate somewhere down the line when J maneuvered him into a trap and mated him. “Oh,” the boy said, looking crestfallen. “You’re good.”

Half an hour later I started coughing as the boy and his friend were playing a game of speed chess under the tutelage of N and J. “Nobody’s smoking,” N said, after a cursory look around. I stood up and walked away from the table, then noticed the smoker some 30 yards away. My inhaler will stop the attacks from progressing into full scale asthma with wheezing and airway shutdown, but it doesn’t really stop the coughing if I’m still being exposed to the trigger, and I couldn’t exactly go up to the man who was smoking and ask him to stop. I did point him out to N, though, in a reflexive attempt to validate my coughing, as I said my goodbyes and left.

I have to admit I’m feeling a bit grumpy, and positively sick and tired of “Nobody’s smoking.” At this point, if I’m coughing, isn’t it obvious that someone, somewhere, must be?


The sun shines on the water and the mountains. I’m sitting in Dad’s house, waiting for Zeke to get up, and wondering about the rhythms of my life, the way the summer, which always stretches forward with such long, irresistible beauty as it approaches, jolts into a period of half-time jerky rushing here-and-there timelessness the moment it actually starts. I’ve been on break for the past week, but have worked every day — moving my office, filing stacks of papers, prepping for classes, which start next week. I’m teaching two classes, partly to pay the mortgage, and partly in my efforts to save for Zeke’s college days, which are rapidly approaching.

And I just wrote a whole long piece that vanished….. So that’s that…

More snippets

Spent the weekend chopping wood at my dad’s. I really like chopping wood. I drove over there yesterday to give my baby sister a book on the urging of my other sisters, who are worried about her. “You’re the closest,” they said. “You have to do something.”

I’m worried too, but what can I do? I can’t live her life for her. We argued, when I tried to tell her why I was (why we were) worried. In the end I just gave her the book and left. I’d never make a counselor.

Dad appreciated the help with the log, anyway. Now I’m home, and tired, and tomorrow I have a workshop at work, then need to spend the rest of my break moving offices and preparing to teach summer school. Yes. I’m teaching. Got to pay the mortgage somehow!

Zeke is better. She has to see a rheumatologist in a couple of months (takes forever to get a referral), but it’s not critical. May be immune system related. More likely to be a ruling out of something or other. In the meantime, the PA was very happy with the results. And she passed her state exams for Bush’s inane No Child Left Behind act, so now she gets to twiddle her thumbs for two years and take classes just because that’s what she has to do to graduate. It’s an absurd system.

Nada quit smoking a week and a day ago. He quit coffee too, and is drinking green tea instead. He’s playing soccer with his nephew when the craving hits, and it seems to be working. Former smoker friends of mine say it’s hard to quit, and I believe it. Nada used to smoke two packs a day but had cut down to one pack over the last few years, but still — it was hard for him to decide to take the leap. He was grumpy for a few days, but on Friday he got silly when we went to the bookstore and laughed for the first time since quitting. I bought him a book on meditation and therapy (he wants to write his thesis on it when the time comes), and that pleased him.

And I’m tired. I can’t even think. G’night.

Protected: Biting my nails

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Explaining my mother

I’m at my dad’s house. Leah is visiting from across the waters and we are preparing to go on a sightseeing tour.

And suddenly I’m stopped. Can’t write. There’s so much I want to say, and all of it clogs together in my head, a cacophony of words demanding their moment to be heard, to shape themselves into images, to present themselves in the form of recollections and reflections.

What I want to say is that my mother was extraordinary. (Why did I write “is” at first?) Because I’m unfolding the retrospective slowly, and trying to describe what happened without too much explanation or unpacking or projecting forward into the “now,” it might seem that she was a terrible mother in some ways, that she made unforgivable mistakes. But she was not. She was very sick at the time, with an illness nobody could figure out. She was living the dark burden of her own traumatic childhood, trying to overcome it alone, without the benefit of counselors to help her recast her past in a new and more illuminating light. As a child I knew none of this, or at least, I knew she was sometimes sick in bed, but I didn’t know how deeply her illness weakened her emotionally, and I knew nothing about her past.

What amazes me about her is that she overcame all of it, all the horror of her own upbringing, her father’s suicide when she was five, her mother’s raging alcoholism, the dysfunctional society in which her family stood as some kind of beacon of respectability. She changed, altogether. Those who knew her in the last 20 years of her life knew her as someone fully kind and loving, generous to all, always looking for the best in people. There was a lag in how she applied her love to her children, I realize. It started on the outer edges of the pond of her life and rippled back towards the center, where we were grouped. She could not, in the early years, be as unstintingly generous with her compassion towards us as she was towards others. But she did love us. She did everything out of what she believed was the best for us. And in truth, there were good days. There were days when she showed up at school, and the school secretary came to fetch us from class, and we would go to the beach with another family to take advantage of the rare sun. There were days when Dad was home late, and we would sit in the kitchen with her friend and her friend’s kids, and eat biscuits (cookies), and talk and laugh. We went to the pantomime and the opera. We got swimming lessons in Dublin, and stopped off at the campus bakery for fresh-baked meltingly soft rolls on the way home. We went to Bewley’s on the half day at the end of every term for raisin buns and fudge. We marched in Dublin to try to save Wood Quay, the site of a Viking excavation, and she helped us make a placard for our dog, and afterwards we ate in the newly opened McDonald’s, Ireland’s first, with the dog curled under our seat. I tasted my first milkshake then, and laughed when the boy who was mopping the floor pretended to mop up the dog.

We had fun. There was joy. I did laugh. I know I did. It’s just that the dark moments intervened at times, and they shaped me as much as the fun times.

So I have to say, before I continue my retrospective, that my mother was an extraordinary, beautiful, kind woman, who saved herself somehow from her own traumatic past, and in doing so gave us — her four girls — the tools to help us heal ourselves. Two of my sisters have had extensive counseling, one on the East coast and one in Ireland. One should probably consider it. I have visited a counselor now and again, not often, and done what I can through reading and walking meditation and prayer — my mother’s path. It has not always been easy. It will not ever be easy. But it is possible, and every time I breathe deep and feel joy, I think of my mother, who taught me how.

Retrospective 16: 1978 — Scapegoat skinhead

My mother bent over me, pulling my hair straight, pushing the scissors in, and cutting. Locks of red-brown hair fell to the floor, fell to my lap. I looked down at the growing pile. My hair had been long and thick. I had kept it pulled back by barrettes, and was used to the feel of it against my neck. Now it was gone. My head felt light and strange.

I don’t remember if I cried. Perhaps by then the tears were gone. The haircut was a punishment for lying, but I hadn’t lied. I was the scapegoat. When my sisters had done something for which they got in trouble, they pointed at me. My mother told me years later that when she punished me, it lightened the tension between her and Dad, which by then was considerable. I suppose that’s why she always believed them. Over and over again I was accused of lying for some infraction that had nothing to do with me. This time my sister had forgotten to feed her fish, and they had died, and she told my mother I had put the soap dish in the tank, thus killing them.

My mother was logical and careful. The previous timed I’d denied wrongdoing (“lied”), she had warned me. “Next time this happens, I’m cutting off your hair. You have to learn to take responsibility for your actions.” And she did.

My hair, because it was thick and somewhat fuzzy, didn’t take well to the new haircut. It frizzed out all over my head, dense as an Afro. I had never been popular in school, but the new haircut triggered new, vicious and unmitigated attacks on me. I would walk into class and see “Adah is a fuzzpot, Adah is a nut,” written on the board. The kids followed me, chanting their song. I was awkward and gawky anyway, and somehow the new haircut only emphasized my social outcast standing.

I had had one out-of-school friend, a social outcast too, a boy. We used to run in the hills around his house, climb through the forests to the rocky outcroppings at the top of the Wicklow hills. We used to play in the abandoned machinery at a stone quarry, and go swimming in a river pool a half hour walk from his house. I spent the night at his place, in a narrow cot set up in his tiny room. He asked me to marry him. I remember laughing and laughing when I was with him, filled with a wild, joyous sense of freedom.

He didn’t tease me about my hair. I think he hardly noticed it — or maybe he was just kind. But when my sisters’ friends found out about our friendship, they organized a possey of mean little girls to follow me about the school. “Adah and Peter up a tree, k.i.s.s.i.n.g….First come loves, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby-carriage,” they howled as I walked between classes or headed towards the lunch room. The pressure, combined with the already unbearable tension regarding my hair, sent me over the edge. I stopped calling him. I stopped returning his phone calls. And I think I stopped laughing, for years.

As my hair grew out, it grew increasingly fuzzy. One day, driven mad by it, I grabbed a pair of scissors and began cutting. I grabbed the wildest hair, at the top of my head, which WOULD NOT lie down smoothly and tamely, and I hacked away. I cut a spot on my head back to almost-baldness. When my mother saw it, all she could do was take me to the hairdressers and get my head shaved.

Then I was “Skinhead” at school. The teasing intensified. I could go nowhere without hearing the whispers. We all knew skinheads were bad people, hurtful evil people whom we had to avoid if we saw one on the street. They listened to punk rock and ate kittens. And now I was one of them.

I was also a late bloomer, and being lean and shapeless, was taken for a boy so many times that Mum finally got my ears pierced so people could see I was a girl after all. But that didn’t work either. “That boy’s got earrings,” I heard on the bus once.

It took years to get my hair past the fuzzy stage. In fact, it never really came back the way it had been before it was cut. Something changed in it, and changed in me, too. I have a driving desire for honesty that I have to curb sometimes. I know kids tend to lie sometimes, yet I want to believe everything Zeke says. I have to believe it. I will NEVER accuse her of lying — even if all the evidence is there.

What surprises me is how honest she is, how “good.” I see me in her. I don’t know how she got there. She is so kind, so sensitive, so well-intentioned. I was all those things. I didn’t lie. I cried in my room at night because I didn’t seem able to convince people — my family — that I wasn’t bad. Something pushed me to do the right thing, to love, to listen and care. Zeke is that way too. I hope she knows I see it.

Retrospective 14: 1976 — Half Wit

Continued from here:

Half wit.

I told you she was stupid.

That girl’s crazy.

These days I find myself wondering if he really said those things about me. I can’t imagine it. I don’t know why those memories are so strong. They infuse my past, and sometimes I hear them again, echoing down the years, when I’ve made a mistake, when I haven’t been quick enough in picking up the joke at the party, when I’ve forgotten something at work. I push them aside, tell myself I’m imagining them, but that’s worse than listening and acknowledging them. It makes a lie out of my past.

I don’t remember. I don’t know why I hear them. He doesn’t say those things any more. The closest he’s come is the inevitable dig at English majors: “The soft option. Anyone can do it.” Or the way he ignores me when I ask a question sometimes. He’s hard of hearing; it’s easy to imagine that he simply didn’t hear me, until my sister asks him something quietly, and he answers.

In the end, whether he used those exact words or not, I know that in some ways he treated me differently. My friends saw.

“He’s your own flesh and blood,” my friend Sara said one day. “How can he treat you that way?”

But that was later, after I knew. When I was 10 and 11, I didn’t know anything at all other than that he was my father and the father of the four of us. We had come from Switzerland to Ireland. We lived in the country, in a big house on four acres, a long way from school. We rarely had friends over, but when we did, they always commented on how he treated me. “Why is your father so mean to you?” they asked. I didn’t know what they meant. It was the way he had always been towards me. “Why doesn’t your father like you?” they asked. I didn’t know how to answer. I was inarticulate in those days. I couldn’t speak right. I was teased because I lisped and stuttered and couldn’t say my “R’s” right. That year I ended up in the Irish equivalent of speech therapy — elocution class.

Is that why he thought I was stupid? Because I couldn’t speak right? I had to memorize long poems and speak them clearly. The elocution teacher coached me through them. She was also the drama teacher, and she loved to gossip with her students. I remember sitting in the small, gray-carpeted drama room upstairs in the art building. We used lighters to shrink crisp (potato chip) bags. The heat from the lighter flame did something to the plastic. We would end up with tiny bags, an inch or so square, the colors heightened, the picture and the brand name, Tayto, tiny replicas of what they had been. She let us bitch about the head mistress, and she asked us questions about boys (strange, foreign creatures that they were to us, in our all-girls’ school). But that was later. When I first knew her, I took lessons alone, and recited poetry that I have willfully forgotten, and learned to speak in a way that could be understood.

Still, he thought I was stupid. And crazy too. A half wit. Did he say it? Perhaps I am crazy to think he did. Perhaps he was right and I am deficient in some way. Perhaps I made it up. But a memory stirs. I wrote about this once, a long time ago, triggered by something he wrote to me. I go looking on my computer. I find it, an essay called “Recreating Reality.” Maybe I will post it some day. I was 29, and I wrote it 14 years ago.