Commentaries & Essays

Dressing As If You've Given Up On Life

Nov 26, 2019
Qinghong Shen

Last year, the locker rooms were under renovation at my gym. Each morning, I headed to a tiny, co-ed space where, for obvious reasons, no one was allowed to actually change.  You could take off outer garments, like jackets and shoes then put them in lockers, but that was it. In addition, the space was so cramped, you had to be a contortionist to remove and stow an item. To be fair, there was a place for women only where I could have changed, but it looked like the set from Stranger Things, so I avoided it.  I’m not complaining—that’s just the way it was.

In Pursuit of Nature

Nov 26, 2019

Years ago, I wanted my friend, Meredith, to take me with her on a camping trip to Lake George. I deliberately didn’t tell her that I knew nothing about camping. I didn’t want her to ditch me for a more experienced companion. Up until then, my only overnight outing had been during my brief stint as a Girl Scout. At eleven, I’d spent an endless night in a cinderblock hut, sweating on a canvas cot, watching the hours creep by on my glow-in-the dark Peter Pan watch.

Look Before You Leap

Aug 27, 2019
Deborah Prum

As I look back on my life, I’ll have to admit that I’ve been plagued by less than stellar judgment. I’ve identified three categories: pure bad judgment, bad judgment with good intentions, bad judgment with bad intentions.

Dreaming

Aug 27, 2019
Deborah Prum

I write for a living, which means I sit in front of a computer for hours. For years, I balanced on the edge of a rigid wooden chair. Later, I moved to a tipsy rolling chair. Neither provided back support. Four years ago, I bought a metal chair for a couple of dollars at a yard sale. As the sellers loaded it into my car, they warned me, “You know it’s broken, right?” I assured them it was better than the chair I had at home, which caused a lot of back pain.

Sparks of Joy

Mar 12, 2019
Deborah Prum

My Facebook feed is full of photos of shipshape garages, orderly closets and neatly stacked undies. Marie Kondo, an organizing consultant, encourages people to sort their belongings. And, if an object does not spark joy, toss it.

Some of my belongings don’t spark joy, yet I’d be loath to part with them. When I started de-cluttering my house, a chair, a magnifying glass and a hammer did not make the Kondo cut.

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