Essays and poems
Lay of the Land
September 15, 2012
I have just finished a six-month project of reading all the novels of Pearl Buck. I had read "The Good Earth" while in high school and still had vivid inner images from that book, but I had no idea Buck was such a fascinating writer--one who, unfortunately, has mostly slipped from literary consciousness. What (more…)
August 17, 2012
Among the many fascinating aspects of the unfolding story of Pussy Riot, the activist Russian collective which has seen three of its members sentenced harshly today in Moscow, is the allegation of heresy and religious insult in the women's invocation of the "Mother of God" (a term used for the Blessed Virgin Mary in (more…)
February 22, 2011
Throughout this past weekend, I have been joining with tens of thousands of friends and strangers in Madison, Wisconsin, opposing legislation that would drastically alter working conditions for teachers, nurses, and other public servants. Upon the invitation of the wonderful Split This Rock organization, I wrote a description of the events, which came out (more…)
August 25, 2010
This week, as we mark the 90th anniversary of the approval of women’s suffrage in the United States, I find myself thinking of Alice Paul.
In 1974, I joined with other Quaker women near Philadelphia for a gathering on women’s spirituality. I cannot remember why I was delegated to call Alice Paul, (more…)
June 24, 2010
It is high summer. The early vegetables are beginning to bolt in the garden, so we'll harvest the remaining spinach and beets and replace them with drying beans. Probably the last week of peas, too. We'll plant some cucumbers in their place and hope they fruit by the time summer ends. Apples are swaying (more…)
April 2, 2010
It is Good Friday by the Christian calendar. When I was a child, we observed three hours of silence on this day, while we meditated upon the dying god. Today we are observing that silence again, in order to tune ourselves into the sounds of the emerging springtime.
I have heard so much (more…)