Thursday, August 31, 2006

Oh dear

There's something sickeningly appropriate about reading Wilde on the treadmill.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


One of the things I always loved about books set long ago was the descriptions of spices. No wonder oranges and cinnamon were near priceless to people who lived in a cold rainy land eating parsnips and leeks. I used to wonder how something that tasted so extraordinary to the fifteenth-century English could be so boring to me in the supermarket.

Tonight as I unpacked the co-op kitchen for the coming year, the rows of spices caught my eye with their labels that tell not only with what's in each jar but where it comes from. Saigon cinnamon, Jamaican allspice, Canadian mustard, Turkish bay leaves, Albanian sage, East Indian nutmeg. Five hundred years ago, not even kings owned the contents of that cabinet. Even in a time when practically everything we use is made in El Salvador or Taiwan or Indonesia, when we can hop on a plane and get anywhere, it's exciting to look at that spice cabinet. If I close my eyes and breathe in the scent of cloves, I can still imagine it's priceless.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I love my family.

Scene: Late afternoon, a street in Baltimore. My mother's brother is guiding us to the local anarchist bookstore. I have just realized that we don't have a place to stay tonight because I can't get into my college room until the next day.

Mom: We could just walk on the streets all night. We might make some money.
David: I'd rethink your clothing choice.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

In brief

Have ear infection
and dropped my daal in the sink.
Rotten afternoon.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

If only it worked like that.

With the program at Pendle Hill over and its participants scattered to several continents, I'm left marvelling at the fact that I can go home. Ever since I was eleven and realized not everyone's home was as happy as mine, I've been looking at friends and thinking their lives would be smoother if they could just get out of their toxic family environments and live with my family for a month or two. Now even after we're all old enough to move out, I'm looking at the friends I've made whose whose lives are still restricted by what their parents' reactions would be if they led the lives they want to. Some decide to restrict their lives so they can maintain contact - others can't go home at all because it's too poisonous there.

I want to say to them all, "Come be in my family instead. We're not perfect and there's an ugly new rug in the hall, but we'll love you. I'll make you a cake. My family won't push you away if you marry a woman or move to San Fransisco or shave your head. Come home."