The Lines

I knew an artist once who stood before a human-sized canvas and drew  lines from left to right, over and over and over, all the way down the canvas from her head to her blue-shoed, paint-speckled toes. I hung around some mornings on the couch in her studio. It was attic space, unheated in that […]

Quarter Hour

As a young lawyer, I was required to keep time sheets. I had to account for every quarter hour. Long calls were billed at an eighth of an hour. Short calls were batched. My big cases billed out in the fifty, sixty-hour week, and the little stuff might have been another eight or ten. I […]


I took home economics in middle school and nearly failed it.   I hated the sewing machine’s jumping needle, every seam coming out as if a path beaten through the jungle. But it was my cupcakes that most threatened my otherwise nice report card. Mixing bowls and spoons, flour going everywhere, we were charged with […]

The Flamingo Must Go

It’s my good fortune to know a lot of visual artists. Painters, mostly, but also potters and printmakers, landscape architects, photographers, and people who work in fabric, stone, glass, metal, bottle caps, trash, and who knows what else in this rich community. John Brickels works in clay. All his pieces are brown. In years past, […]

Cleaning House

New Year’s is a good time to entertain possibilities. And while I consider them, I usually clean house as a kind of doubled bonus. New year, new ideas, clean house, only this year, I didn’t quite get to it. There was the entertaining: the short ribs, the chocolate cake. Our college boy was home. There […]

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