We need a better word

We need a better word

The female body is such a powerful, loving-but-stern gate keeper for the threshold of life, and she has an array of incredibly subtle and nuanced chemical tests she runs and reads and runs again. She rarely fails. We may not understand her. But she knows what she's doing. She learned it from her mother, and her mother's mother, back literally to the trees and the caves. She's one of those natural forces we can't negotiate with, we can only sit in awe and wonder and thank her for her work, and marvel over its results, and not so much question her process. We can't fully know it, and we can't fully understand it. We can only admire it. And damn it all, sometimes we're forced to just try and accept it as best we can through our tears.

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Beautiful things

Beautiful things

After my son died, I rescued a dog. She taught me to live in the moment. She coaxed me outside and reminded me that a pinecone is a greater work of art than a good book, that a stick is more fun than a gadget. My wife, dog and I walked through the burnt hills. We approached burnt oaks and watched green sprouts, somehow, push out of the blackened branches. We sat down next to a stream and read each other poems about the changing of the seasons. We became like the ashes all around us, impossible to make out which piece came from which person.

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Here, there, and everywhere

Here, there, and everywhere

My younger daughter, Audrey, repeats this narrative nearly every day. Claire is her doll, and Claire was the sister she never met or played with. My heart stops and my breath catches in my throat as she explains to the receptionist behind the counter or the lady at the dog park: "You don't know I have two sisters. One is named Julia, and the other is named Claire but Claire died."

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