Search

subscribe

latest by jen

First love

Among my cardboard boxes, there is another. It’s plastic. A clear Tupperware container with a blue cover marked “Jen’s papers.” I laugh a little at this because the markings on the masking tape are in my mother’s handwriting and I would have expected it to read “Jennifer’s papers.” But Jen is shorter than Jennifer, shorter than Jenny, shorter than any of the names I answered to during the time of the papers. And easier to write on a …

Name this photo

The lump in my throat called life

The first sensation is a swell in the space behind the back of my tongue but before my esophagus. What is that space called? High up on the other side of gagging? I call it my crying space. The space tears come from. Ha! You thought crying started scientifically in some space known as ducts, No way, Jose. Crying starts as a lump — there in that undefined on the anatomical map because it’s function …

I don’t know why I’ve been dreaming ’bout the Echelon Mall

Tacos for 79 cents, mild sauce ask for extra and squeeze Children’s Place, a tunnel with carpet inside crawl through the storefront window My first Walkman wasn’t Sony downstairs at a stereo store in the corner next to Strawbridge’s across from Heroes World before Heroes World moved upstairs One time downstairs I saw a man there the inside of his ear on the outside But that was when it was still cool because it wasn’t cool …

My heart hurts with how much I love libraries right now

I’ve been suffering the symptoms of drought since I moved to Israel three years ago, but I didn’t know it until I swam again in a sea of books; otherwise known as the English Department Library at Bar Ilan University where I am currently studying Creative Writing. Where my heart is opening faster than my throat can bear. Wider than I thought it could possibly stretch without ripping apart, my heart, my throat. But I …

Music is a Gift with Legs

I’m a big believer in the magic of books, music, and people falling into your lap when you least expect them to and when you are most ready to appreciate their messages. (For this reason, I’m about to download The Happiness Project since three people in as many days have referenced it to me.) But just because the wisdom fortuitously appears at just the right time doesn’t mean its vessel hasn’t fallen into your lap …

Blogger challenge: My ideal hours would be …

Sitting on the carpet combing tracks down your long brown hair with a blue-handled brush — Sitting on the carpet across from your wrinkled hands shuffling cards for a game of Gin — Sitting on the carpet with my knees tucked inside my nightgown, mouth cartoon-like forming the words, “Tell ’em Large Marge sent ya.” Little you giggling — Sitting on the carpet by the sliding glass door where the morning sun warms me like …

Lay flat to dry

I’ve started to play with my label. It’s itching me a little. I tried moving my neck side to side to see if it would readjust comfortably on its own. Didn’t work. So I reached my right hand back over my shoulder. Stretched my collar all the way ’round front to see Mother. Wife. 39. Chief Marketing Officer. Size small. Made in America. 35 % Israeli. 100 % Woman. 21 % Buddhist-to-be. Hand wash warm. Prone to …

Art of attraction

Art begets art, don’t you think? Of course, we may disagree on the definition of art. But I find the more I notice, the more I notice. The more I write, the more I photograph, the more I dream. The more I read, the more I feel, the more I write. When you open up — even just a little — to noticing and noting, you are actually working your art muscle. What I say …

This poem comes in pencil only

This guy popped out of nowhere after 30 or so years just when I needed him most. He looks like a dapper old cat, but what you can’t see … what he’s hiding behind his back … is his secret weapon. And exactly what I need right now. A pencil sharpener. It’s hard to explain exactly why I found him where I did (inside a personalized pink plastic container holding personalized pink hair ribbons), but …

Tell me a secret I don’t already know

Almost as much as I am fascinated by memory and by man’s search for meaning, I am insanely curious about secrets. I’m fascinated by why we keep secrets, and what happens when they’re exposed. But I am also very, very afraid of them. Not just mine. And what may happen if and when they are revealed. But yours. Your secrets scare me, too. I’m deathly afraid of the unknown. Of the uncertainty of what you might someday …

Return to sender

I let go of Shira yesterday. I called her up on the phone, walked over to her house, met her on the path there, and let her go. She laughed. So did I. It was swell. I had in my hand 18 year old Shira. With love, I gave her back. To 40 year old Shira. Some would call this surreal. Others would call it silly. I call it an extraordinary gift. How did it …

Pretty lies

If I could play piano as deftly as I do in my dreams If I could sing and you could hear the rich tones I do when my voice echoes in my ear If I could put down words, the true ones that bubble up and swell in my heart This is what I would bring forth into the world. Something like this: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igj20M84hbo&w=420&h=315] But I only tap, tap, tap a little Heart & …

What’s Off-Limits When I Die

Who gets to decide what of yours gets published after you’re gone? Who says that your journals, your letters, your doodles in the margins get to be publicly shared posthumously? I assume the obvious: Your next of kin. Your estate’s executor. But I wonder — those of us who read the words of the dead without their explicit permission (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, The Diary of Anne Frank, Kafka’s The Trial) — do …

The Things We Keep

When my husband and I were first married, we were part of a group of people in Tucson, Arizona designing a new cohousing community— our very own little American kibbutz! This is actually how the community was described to us by a colleague, and why our ears perked up when we heard about it. We had never heard the word cohousing before then, but we knew what a kibbutz was (or we thought we did) …

Since I put your picture in a frame

There’s a photo in one of the albums in one of my cardboard boxes that nobody posing would want me to scan and post anywhere. It’s a #TBT that will never happen, and yet I almost wish I was bold enough to post it anyway because there’s a glorious photobomb inside an awkwardly posed reminder of a difficult time. In the photo, I’m looking particularly young and particularly blonde —  caught in a rare moment of …

The poetry inside other people’s cardboard boxes

A new hobby is birthing itself, pushing its way out.  Like when I took to exploring New York with my neck cranked back gazing up at building sides looking for signs of  shoe polish advertised 100 years ago. A new research topic. A new obsession. The confessional. Sylvia Plath. Anne Sexton. These are writers I never read. Can you believe it? I’m embarrassed to even admit to it. (Though I already did.) I never read those ladies on …

Egyptian Eye

The weekend arrives and most of us crave comfort food. Doesn’t matter if we’re so old we force ourselves to gulp down steel cut oats with flax seed meal and craisins. What we really want is challah french toast. Or bacon. Or grits. We want our mom, our dad, our Bubbi over there in the corner, back of their head to us, shoulders hunched over, feet inside slippers, flipping something hot on the stove with …

feature-category-img-1
  • Love |
  • Relationships |

A date with Haifa

Yesterday I took my husband to the ER for symptoms he has been suffering for over a week. Fortunately he was released at the end of a very long day and evening with a diagnosis of pneumonia. Serious, but not as serious as we thought, and treatable with antibiotics. And…
memory header
  • Family |
  • Love |
  • Memory |

Let the summer of 40 begin

When I was a younger girl, I never imagined I’d marry a guy my own age. It’s not that I was into older guys. Mamash, LO, as we say in Hebrew. Definitely NOT. Older guys scared me. I typically dated guys who were maximum two years older.  This was my…
feature-category-img-1
  • Kibbutz |
  • Writing |

The obligatory notice

Almost as often as I change the furniture around in my house, I like to play with the look and feel of the blog. Please note the new design only enough to be aware that it’s still me. Fine. I admit it. I was really looking for an excuse to post…
feature-category-img-1
  • Love |
  • Memory |
  • Music |
  • Relationships |
  • Writing |

Take heed

What if the woman who’s leaving Bob Dylan in Boots of Spanish Leather returns one day? Maybe instead of boots she just brings her older, softer, leathery self to a cafe where it’s said Dylan sometimes drinks black coffee. I imagined that woman and with her in mind, played a little with blackout poetry.…
feature-category-img-1
  • Family |
  • Nonfiction |
  • Writing |

Photographic memory

I love photography even though I’ve never been as good at the art as I might have liked; might have been. I’m grateful — seriously, grateful — to Instagram, for allowing me an outlet for the scenes I capture in my mind’s eye and feel compelled to share, but hardly ever…
rbb-home-banner.jpg
  • Letting Go |
  • Love |
  • Memory |
  • Mindfulness |
  • Nonfiction |

Subway metaphor

It’s likely I will never understand the passage of time. By the time I understand I will have passed time. Quickly like the express train. People some I know become blurred colors along a tiled wall. Their names once tiled too in a mosaic of sorts crumble and all that…

Search

subscribe