Message send failure. 

Siobhan Hewson

I’ve saved all the text messages my sister and I sent to each other this year.

I thought it would be comforting to be able to look at them when I’m sad and know that we connected when everything else got stripped away. I saved them but now it’s a bit of a double-edged sword because somehow my last message to her went astray. It didn’t send and now when I look at my phone it has her name and next to that is the line “message send failure”. And I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. I’m not sure whether to be distressed or comforted. You see I know she would agree that in some ways “message send failure” sums up our relationship perfectly.We spent a lot years trying to communicate with each other but neither of us were very good at getting the message across. It was…

View original post 234 more words

Advertisements

chlorid

Sesquiotica

A scene utterly ridden with (as opposed to rid of) flowers, or having that general sense or quality literally or metaphorically, is called florid. What about when there aren’t many flowers but there are a whole lot of leaves and other green things?

Well, yes, there’s verdant, which is a fervent-sounding word, faintly suggesting vermin but generally with more verve and offering something covered and dancing with green, perhaps in Vernon, BC, or some place yet to be discovered. But verdant is a Latinate word, with that open-shirted v and all that. How about something Greek-derived? And to rhyme with florid?

What’s the Greek root for ‘green’? You see it in chlorophyll, which is formed from χλωρός khlóros ‘green’ and ϕύλλον fullon ‘leaf’ (note how Latin transliterated the Greek differently from how we tend to today). Yes, that chlor that also shows up…

View original post 362 more words

My Unsentimental Education

Longreads

Debra Monroe | My Unsentimental Education, The University of Georgia Press| Oct. 2015 | 14 minutes (3,487 words)

A misfit in Spooner, Wisconsin, with its farms, bars, and strip joints, Debra Monroe left to earn a degree, then another, and another, vaulting into academia but never completely leaving her past behind. Her memoir My Unsentimental Education was published today, and our thanks to the University of Georgia Press for allowing us to reprint the chapter below. Two previous excerpts from the book have been long-listed for The Best American Essays (2011 and 2015), and an early excerpt also appeared on Longreads in 2013.  

***

View original post 3,518 more words

A Foreigner at Home: When Your Accent Works Against You

SHESNOLADY

Growing up in the American south, I was always acutely aware of accents. I can remember clearly my mother scolding me for adding extra syllables to words, an unmistakable twang that betrayed me as an Alabama girl. “The word is ‘bat’!” she would say. “Not ‘bah-yat’!”

I went to an expensive prep school, well known in part because of the eloquent, well-spoken young men and women it produces. I knew from a young age that the way I spoke sounded more like the people on CNN than the people down my street. I wore this as a badge of honor.

When I decided to come to England for university, it seemed like my accent would only prove to be an advantage. I assumed, somewhat correctly, that an American accent here has the same effect as a British one in the US. I assumed, completely falsely, that everyone in my university would be intelligent…

View original post 1,680 more words

Escaping the Darkness

My journey, from wine lover to sober and happy...

Quitting drinking lifted me out of Crapsville. When I drank, I would often ponder why other people’s lives seemed to be so much more productive and together than my own messy, unsatisfying and occasionally frightening existence. I am writing about this today because I noted earlier just how content I am these days, and how long it’s been since I experienced anything or anyone who scared me, threatened me, dragged me down or showed me the darker side of life.

Alcohol brought out so much negativity in both the people I knocked about with, and me. Morals slipped, thoughtlessness abounded, and self-respect vanished all too readily with the same ease it took to withdraw a cork from a bottle.

I found myself caught up in pub brawls, illicit affairs and, on the lesser end of the scale, frequently demonstrating disappointing behaviour that manifested itself in cancelling on people at the…

View original post 339 more words

Dinner or Dignity: Expecting the Poor to Remain Moral

KINFOLK KOLLECTIVE

A few days ago my son and I went grocery shopping. As a general rule, I do not take my baby with me to grocery shop because as any mother of young children – my son turns seven next month – will tell you, a trip for groceries with the children turns into an event laden with begging, tantrums and running through the aisles. This day, however, I wanted to be close to my boy for no other reason than the fact that I adore him, so I let him tag along.

Standing in aisle 5 as my son grabbed oatmeal, an older black woman approached selecting a box of oatmeal, then looking at the price, and finally replacing it. She walked away turning back to advise me, “If you have a car, you need to go to Walmart. Their prices are way cheaper.” I started to say, “I know…

View original post 1,169 more words

Handle with Care

developing dad

I sometimes take a picture of you because you’re just so adorable and amazing and beautiful. And sometimes I catch a hint of fragility in what the camera catches. Other times I see huge heaping mounds of it. Giant reserves of delicate. Like you’re a crystal chandelier in the shape of my beautiful boy. And then, in my minds eye, I see all the thousand ways you’ll be disappointed by the realities of life you can’t even fathom at this point. Sculpted from this thing of beauty into another thing of beauty to be sure. But still, that journey is treacherous and full of potential. Potential harm. Potential fortune. Potential damage and grace.

Maybe it’s you. Maybe I’m not just a proud dad that’s just insanely obsessed with my kids. Maybe your specialness, your perfectness is not a function of my pride. Perhaps you are magical and I’m afraid of…

View original post 736 more words

An Education on Love Between Womyn

Vanessa Martir's Blog

It started when we left the land. She was riding in her car with her best friend. I was in another car with a friend and my daughter. I hadn’t seen her since the day before, on the land in Hart, Michigan where we’d attended a womyn’s music festival. Where we met. I’d stayed in Detroit. She spent the night in Grand Rapids. We met up somewhere in Ohio, on the road from Michigan to New York. I wanted some time alone with her so I told everyone, the two adults and my daughter, that we were going outside for a few minutes. My friend who is 63 and came out when she was a teenager, who is seasoned and protective, reminded me: “We’re not on the land, V.” She didn’t have to tell me what she meant. I knew and I resented it. I resented not being able to…

View original post 2,052 more words

On Silent Black Men: What Have You Done For Us Lately?

I grew up knowing —not believing— Grandma Nan could do anything. She could stoically kill a snake in her yard with an ax and resume tending to her collards in the garden — wearing a chiffon floral house dress. She’d tell my grandfather about it later, probably as they chatted over her homemade veggie soup and Mountain Dew. Sure, Grandma needed Grandfather Walter, but only because she wanted to. He built her house and later on, the garage. He drove the trash to the landfills on trash day (we’re country folks) and fixed every leak. Still, Grandma Nan was The Queen. As were the other women in my family.

My Grandma Nan My Grandma Nan

Men existed in their worlds but didn’t make them go ’round and I felt the strength of women all around me. After all, being strong is the one thing the world will tip their hats off to black women for — sometimes…

View original post 1,008 more words

An Open Letter to the Kardashians, From a Sports Fan

Sports and Spices

Dear Kardashians,

I write this open letter to you as a sports fan. As someone who didn’t grow up looking up to fashion designers, but to professional athletes. You know, that group of talented people you ladies love to date, marry, and divorce after 72 days.

Yeah, those guys.

Those guys whom have worked so hard to reach the peaks of their athletic careers, only to have their accomplishments shadowed by a group of “four sisters” that take the term matriarch to a “whole nother level” (I took both of those quotations directly from your reality show, in case you forgot how annoying you all are to listen to).

Watching the coverage of Lamar Odom is heartbreaking. Not because I feel for Khloe. Not because of Khloe, or Kris, or Kim, or the camera crew that showed up at the hospital today. But because this is a man who has quietly battled drug…

View original post 664 more words