With a broken-down oven, in a hotel kitchen, on an uninhabited island
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I wondered if I had stumbled upon some universal principle: the more beautiful the illusion, the more egregious the lie.
Some nights, when medication and meditation have failed to put me to sleep, I think of the relatives who abandoned my family to become white people.
Watching my wife, I have finally found the key to the map. I understand why men have spent millennia constructing systems to strip the power from this body: Look how she pulls her spine up to the sky. Look how effortlessly she strings herself between the ordinary and the divine.
He stops short, horrified that he has interrupted his employer during an emotional moment. Bishop quickly wipes away her tears and says, in Portuguese, Don’t worry, José. I’m only crying in English.
Try to avoid symbolism and metaphors, and leave fate out of it, too. Fate was not preparing you for this loss when you were an eight-year-old farm girl and held that stillborn piglet for hours in the barn.
You want to write back, He died. You want your hurt to be the world’s hurt. This pain is what was born tonight. It’s a palpable, physical thing, an object of infinite dimension that can be looked at from many angles, held closely or at a distance, and always there is some new aspect of the sorrow.
A bride’s lament, a smoker’s remorse, a swingers’ resort
For most of history it was inconceivable that people would choose their mates on the basis of something as fragile and irrational as love and then focus all their sexual, intimate, and altruistic desires on the resulting marriage.
One quality that helps a marriage work is when partners respect each other and are each grateful for what the other brings to the relationship. Relationships run on an economy of gratitude. And if your partner needs to change his or her behavior, it’s important to ask for that change without attributing bad motives to the behavior. When you do argue, or when your partner gets angry, look for the soft emotion under the hard one and talk to that. A belief in the goodwill of the other person is critical.
Dr. C. doesn’t sit, as if he won’t be staying long, but he does have information for us. He says that 75 percent of women deliver within a week of membrane rupture. He says that if they induce labor now, and Olivia is alive, we will have complete say in her care and how much we want the doctors to do to keep her alive. But if I deliver a few days from now, my daughter will be twenty-four weeks, and the hospital’s ethics board will step in to limit our choices.