What Happened Next

My husband died.  He wasn’t young any more and was sick and weak but we weren’t expecting his death to come as quickly as it did, within a few days, almost overnight.  He just went away.  Maybe there are worse things than a quick, quiet death. Here’s what happened next. My brother and sister-in-law (who […]

Can We Defend Ourselves Against Brain Tumors?

Eleven years ago this week, my 67-year-old mother died from a brain tumor. It was Glioblastoma multiforme, an insidious fourth-stage cancer that, without treatment, usually kills within three months. Treatment options are miserable for the patient and not terribly effective; for those who opt for surgery and radiation/chemo, the cancer almost always returns within a year […]

Birthdays are Arbitrary and Awesome

Over the past six weeks, my sister and two of my dearest friends have celebrated landmark birthdays (the kind with a zero at the end). These festivities have left me thinking about birthdays. Why do we celebrate them? A birthday represents a lap around the sun — 365 Earth days, or 8,760 hours. But let’s […]

Redux: The Compulsion to Count

  Back in 2012, I wrote about my compulsive counting habit. I’m revisiting it now, in hopes of collecting stories from other counters. If you count too, I’d love to hear about it. Leave me a comment. For as long as I can remember, I have counted. If I’m on a train I might count the […]

The Brain I Wish I Had

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about my bloodlines. Perhaps it’s my impending fatherhood, perhaps I’m just at that age. I’ve been tracing my grandfathers’ heritages back through the Revolutionary War and to the Tudor conquest of Ireland. I’ve planned a trip to Norway, which is my grandmother’s homeland, and hope to […]

Rivers of Noise

Manhattan rattles my ears. Subway lines shake the fine bones inside my head. Cars honking on the street change the way my brain physically functions. When I stayed in the city a week ago I noticed the same as I always do: noise. I live in a quiet place off the grid in Western Colorado […]

The Simplest Answer

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about an old friend of mine named William of Occam. You know the guy I’m talking about, right? Skinny little kid in the monk’s robe who doesn’t say much. Sure you do. Some guys call him “Sharp Willy” or “Billy the Knife.” I’m not sure why, I assume it […]

Guest Post: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s a beautiful spring day here in the Canadian Rockies, and inside my head I’m a slightly less perky Julie Andrews running through the fields singing The hilllls are alive, with the soouund of muusiiiiiic. I’m feeling much more upbeat than I was a couple of months ago. Sixteen hours of daylight stretch gloriously before […]