Cradling a baby, climbing to safety, clinging to the past
Lost In Thought
Most people spend their entire life imprisoned within the confines of their own thoughts. They never go beyond a narrow, mind-made, personalized sense of self that is conditioned by the past.
We spend the first twelve months of our children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve years telling them to sit down and shut up.
Beyond Their Years
Linda Kreger Silverman On Understanding Gifted Children
We say children are gifted when their intellectual ability is advanced beyond their age. A four-year-old girl who can pass all the items on an IQ test that an eight-year-old is expected to be able to do would obtain an IQ score in the 200 range. Children who are developmentally advanced are out of sync with their peers, and also out of sync with the expectations of teachers and parents, which leads to vulnerability. They need individualized education and counselors who understand how to work with these children.
When he diagnosed my three-month-old, Fiona, with a chromosomal disorder, the redheaded, cherubic medical geneticist did not use the phrase “mentally retarded” — thank God, or the gods of rhetoric, or just the politically correct medical school the young doctor had attended.
Almost Unendurable Beauty
The plastic prescription vial contains thirty doses. I press the cap down, twist it counterclockwise, and shake a cylindrical pill into my hand. It is an ugly gray, like dryer lint, like newly poured concrete, like a bullet. I know my daughter will notice this.
Each year on April 25 my mother calls to remind me that it’s the anniversary of my father’s death, so I should take a moment to think about him.
I Am The Star Of A Rock Video
Ever since I turned sixty, my fame has grown — slightly. I became the visiting writer at a college in Albany, New York. An article about me appeared in Metroland, the hip Albany weekly. One of my poems was published in the prestigious American Poetry Review. And a young man named Miles Joris-Peyrafitte asked me to star in a rock video.
And even after all that, even after everything I’d said to him earlier, he still came to say good night before he went to bed, the way he had when he was a little boy.
Morning: fire of purple princess blossoms, / toddler pedaling furiously on a tricycle, / and the man unlocking his fix-it shop on the corner / with its hand-painted warning sign: / ALL MY STUFF IS NOT WORTH YOUR LIFE.
— from “Storm On Galilee” | What’s instructive is not / that he walked on water / but that he seemed so unharassed / by the possibility of complete / and utter catastrophe.
At The Cafe
He was skirting the outdoor tables, smelling faintly of urine, / singing his song and muttering naughty comments that made us / smile, and I wondered how life would have been different / if he’d been my dad.