latest by jen

Why I am more appalled by the internet than by Justine

In the ongoing, yet soon to be old news saga of PR professional Justine Sacco, Gawker has surprisingly (not!) tarred and feathered a woman, and called it “reporting the news.” When I saw the #hasjustinelandedyet saga in a friend’s Facebook feed over the weekend, I was drawn in. It was hashtagging at its best, after all. Alluring. Personal. Clever. With a hint of snark. However, I was too busy monitoring a group of rowdy eleven year ...

Guns are just a metaphor

This is not a post about gun control. It’s not a post about violence prevention in our schools or in our towns. It’s a post about growing up — my growing up — as a mother. And the single greatest lesson I have learned in my ten years, 364 days of parenting. Ready? I know nothing. Absolutely nothing. If I look at myself now from the future, this will always be true. Each day, as ...

Do your dreams predict your Facebook feed?

I’m entering dangerous territory. Dreamland. Dreams — and how they figure into our waking lives — fascinate me. I don’t remember which came first —  my vibrant dream life or my wonder for that version of reality. But both have been with me since childhood. What’s curious to me these days is lucid dreaming and predictive dreaming, both of which I seem to be getting better at. The other night, for instance, I noticed I ...

Happiness is a warm, crisp chocolate chip cookie

It’s pretty cold for Israel. Damp, too, and muddy. We’re in the middle of a patch of rain and about to get hit by a storm that will likely bring snow to parts of the desert. Just the right kind of weather to put me in a bad, bad mood. But I’m not … yet. I’m working from home today and feeling really, really thankful for that. And because I’m working from home, and because we still have ...

The space between dreams

Fevered dreams Unfulfilled chills Can’t shake ’em off. The space there between awake and asleep Hot outside Cold inside A mystery understood only by the archetype of me. If I could write the space there between awake and asleep it’d be a bestseller. The book of the month for vampires and demons that dwell inside the space between dreams.

Life Lessons of Learning to Ride a Bike (Part II)

Who knew what a wealth of life lessons teaching your kid to ride a bike would provide? (Who knew, actually, what a wealth of life lessons parenting, in general, would offer. Not me! Can I have my money back? Just kidding… sorta…) Three years ago, I remarked on the magical moment of “letting go” a parent and child both experience when the child finally decides to ride a bike solo. But what about when a ...

Smushy mushy heart

Smushy mushy heart springs back like Silly Putty even when it’s broke.

The small victories of a working mother — flash poetry

“There’s a clean shirt in your backpack!” <Door slams! Bam!> First to sign up for parent-teacher meetings. Small victory. Showed up on time — early pick up, after all. Small victory. Pushed the migraine aside (til tomorrow) in order to be present today for preschool Chanukah party, songs, dance, and black light. Huge victory. Grater?!? Where’s the grater? Found it. And it’s clean. Ready to make latkes. Here you go. Take it. Take the potato, ...

Love Song for a Vampire

If I had nothing else to do in my life right now — no full-time job, no school, no household chores, no parenting, no community commitments — I might decide to drop everything and pursue a journalistic investigation of music and memory. Truth is, I am doing this already on a very personal level. For those of you who follow the blog, you might have already sensed my budding fascination in some of my recent ...

A virtual cure for anxiety is almost here

This morning, my hair dryer caught on fire. Which is a lot better than my hair catching on fire — which actually happened once, the first time I visited Israel in 1992 and forgot to use a converter before I set my curling iron to my bangs. I lost half my bangs that day … which was probably a good thing, in hindsight. I sensed something was wrong this morning when I started to smell ...

Both sides

On my drive home from work, I play a game sometimes. I choose a song to listen to on YouTube. When it finishes and when I get to a stop sign, I look through the suggested songs at the bottom and choose one. That’s the game. I typically get through three or four songs this way. (I have a 25 minute drive but not so many stops along the winding mountain roads.) I play this ...

The almost, so-very-lost, art of the letter

I’ve been finding letters. Long lost letters. Long saved letters. Long ago, written-by-hand letters. As and Es and Is strung together to form laughter and love and pain. Through my veins runs remorse then retraction as I read the letters aloud. Loopy script Straight uppercase caps Bubbled Oooos and lowercase bees All of them stamps of time and postmarks of personality Who knew then that you were a poet, dear Friend? Who knew that you ...

Turning away from evil

I had a dream last night. An epic, Joseph Campbell/ CG Jung type dream. The part I want to share with you involved a snake. Back off, Freud wanna-be. Before you go analyzing me, let’s take a journey together. It wasn’t really a snake — more like a supernatural serpent demon type thing — the body of a serpent but the head of a monster — that most everyone else around me was mistaking for an ...

I’m a zombie; really, truly, deeply

“As an immigrant, I feel both frustrated and grateful. Frustrated because I can’t communicate how and when I want to. Yet grateful for that fragile window of time in which I must pause. I have no other choice.” Read the full piece about how I really, truly am… a zombie.

Meditation on Yard Sales

I have a tendency to hold on. This tendency is so strong, I’m confident I will end up a haunting ghost in someone’s house when I go. I hold on to photographs, to letters, to my child’s sketches. I refuse to part with shoes I want to love but can’t because they give me blisters; nor can I say goodbye to the beat up stuffed animal I’ve had since sixth grade.  The t-shirt I received ...

Craving life

One of the major down sides of social media for me is access to second degree sadness. I just don’t need it. Sorry if that sounds cruel, harsh. But it’s true. I’m a sensitive girl already. I feel people’s eyes. Their frantic glances, their furrowed brows. I’m pained by the way they walk with their head down low. I’m frightened when their steps get heavy behind me. I’m deathly afraid of a silence that emanates ...

Don’t you remember you told me you loved me baby?

The first song I can remember singing in the shower started like this: “When I was young, I’d listen to the radio, waiting for my favorite songs When they’d play I’d sing along. It’d make me smile.” Do you know this song? Do you hear the tune in your head? Are you singing along with me? If yes, you’re already in on the joke. If not, play along for a few minutes. Humor me. The ...

RIP Blockbuster: A pop culture haiku

(This haiku was inspired by “R.I.P. Blockbuster, You Frustratingly Magical Franchise, You” by Kevin Fallon in the Daily Beast) == RIP Blockbuster Video By Jen Maidenberg == Neighborhood stop for high school dates rated PG. Press play. Then make out. ==
  • 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…
  • Memory |
  • Philosophy |
  • Spirituality |

The after-taste of a dream

My dreams are poems Righting themselves upside down in Not-for-long Ville.   Still fresh with relief when I wake I take a pen so I may keep them.   But the poems fade faster than the dream even when I whisper, “Don’t.”   What’s left then, but last night’s dream, which…
  • Books |
  • Writing |

From the eyes of Mrs. Murry

Meg’s mother picked up the pair of brown tortoise shell reading glasses from the top of the bedroom dresser. She gently put them on and leaned in to study her face in the reflection. Cocking her head to the right, she removed the pair, placed the chewed earpiece in her mouth,…
  • Parenting |
  • Philosophy |

In this world, there is a fragile child

There is a cry lodged There at the farthest most upper reaches There at the roof of my mouth. There, its origin may be found in between There in between an exhale and an inhale There where an ujjiyai breath washes over it. There is not a wet cry There…
  • Dreams |
  • Family |
  • Mindfulness |
  • Parenting |

In the dark

I was one of those kids who was afraid of the dark. Now, when I say “one of those kids” I do pause for a moment and wonder what kid isn’t afraid of the dark. What adult isn’t still? I think most of us are afraid of the dark. Even…
  • Modern Life |
  • Religion |

When you don’t have anything to say

This time of year in Israel is often uncomfortable for me. I won’t say difficult, because it seems highly inappropriate to label anything in my life as “difficult” in the same breath as I speak of the Holocaust, of war, of fallen youth. But it’s uncomfortable. In very quick succession,…
  • Love |
  • Memory |
  • Music |
  • Writing |

Nostalgia sounds like …

“There’s an echo in the wind Makes me wonder where I’ve been”   The closest appliance to a time travel machine I’ve ever owned arrived in my mailbox today. I sold my yellow Sony edition at a yard sale over a decade ago. This one is a gift from a friend who…