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The Spiral Staircase

The fall out of a fractured divorce:

The Motherless Muse

I was surprised to find myself referenced in the lines of the obituary. Somebody was mindful, maybe the parent of the other 3 step-grandchildren though I’m not sure who they are.

When the deceased and I first met, I was already a young adult so I don’t know that I ever considered her a step-grandmother, though perhaps some if not all of my younger sisters did. I find myself touched to be included all these years later, to be considered family, even while the ground beneath that sentiment shifts, inviting closer inspection…

My “step-grandmother” was an elegant woman or maybe graceful better captures her, but a grace born of self-composure, more than wealth or finery. Despite her graciousness, however, she stung me once, irrevocably, and all these years later, it comes back to me, when I am the age she would have been then…

My father, the surgeon, began sleeping…

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Cat Scan 3:00 a.m.

Looking back at power outages and kids and ice storms and ER visits…

Kelly Salasin

Upon rising after three hours of sleep to sun streaming through crystallized trees in a tinsel-like forest, the late night trip to the Emergency Room seemed like a dream.

Morning After, Kelly Salasin, Vermont

When our eight-year old woke just after midnight with a throbbing headache followed by vomiting, we were scared. He had fallen at the ice skating rink that afternoon and whacked his head hard. I checked his pupils, tracked his eyes and asked him questions.  It was probably just the stomach flu–which didn’t seem fair either.

Handing him over to his father, I grabbed a flashlight in search of the computer to see what the Internet could tell us. As a last resort, I would wake our family doctor.  The phone line was dead… again.

If it hadn’t already, this three-day weekend now seemed solidly stacked against us.  We’d been without power since Thursday and our water supplies for…

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United Nations Day

The President and his family.

Kelly & Lila

I woke to thoughts of Nationalism, of all things, musing in particular on Trump’s first visit to the United Nations at the beginning of the school year, and specifically of his address to the peace-making body (born out of the atrocities of two World Wars) saying:

As President of the United States, I will always put America first, just like you, as the leaders of your countries, will always—and should always—put your countries first.

But this time my mind didn’t linger on his contradictions, say with regard to the sovereignty of N. Korea or Cuba or Venezuela or Iran; Instead I thought about the ways his vision contradicted even the most basic unit of human belonging: the family.

Mothers easily put young children’s needs ahead of their own; while community members consider what will benefit the whole; and citizens address the needs of those who currently have less means available…

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