As the daughter and granddaughter of war survivors, I reflect on war, its wake of post-traumatic rituals and indelible scars on the psyche, as a new war unfolds. Another war stubbornly heedless of the past.
I wrote this piece at the end of summer two years ago! It’s both fitting and funny that somehow almost all of it still holds true today (with just one tweak: my older child goes to elementary school now): My days are mainly composed of routine tasks: I’m up early every morning—whether I’m ready or…Read more Summer’s Golden Flourish
I’ve lived in this Berlin neighbourhood for seven years. That’s the longest I’ve ever stayed in one place. I buy my groceries from grocers who chat with me, flowers from a florist whose children go to the same school as mine, receive parcels from delivery men who know me by sight. Not everyone knows how…Read more The Tree Planters
“I want to drive into the sunrise.” Years ago, when I was living in Seattle, commuting every day to a comfortable desk job in the eastside, I used to mutter this half-jokingly to my carpool companion. This must have seemed to her not just wistful and slightly pathetic but incredibly dramatic, as we were usually…Read more Home in the Ether
I spent most of last weekend in a kitchen heavenly fragrant with dried fruits, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, nutmeg, brandy and red wine. That magnificent aroma of the holiday season wafting richly from mulled wine, glistening fruitcakes, sugar cookies and spicy gingerbread. I also brought out my largest pot to make a large batch of treats…Read more Bittersweet
Part of me will always be suspended in disbelief. Dangling where there is no ground, no up or down, nothing more substantial than a mysterious ether. But I am not afraid. I am grateful. I know there are plenty of reasons to be worried, sorrowful, pessimistic. Plenty of tragedy, injustice and hate embedded, looming and…Read more Thankful
“Why empathy?” Silence. “Why compassion?” Silence. “Why should we care about each other?” No one answered. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to answer, we simply struggled to find the best reasoning for it. Perhaps we had never asked ourselves these existential questions before. Perhaps we couldn’t find an answer that wasn’t trite, naïve, or saturated…Read more The Pendulum of Empathy
It is early morning. The world is dark blue and cold. A thin pale line traces a horizon that wasn’t there a moment before, when the darkness made no distinction of earth and sky. The sky lightens faster, from dove grey to the silver of vacant mirrors. Rose-tinted edges rise up and spread out into…Read more Half Lives