November 15, 2018

Last year, we raised some money for school benches in a place where children sat either on the ground or on rocks. This year, we are getting more serious. Several of us spent a long time in Lodja, DR-Congo this past summer.  The most desperate need became clear: sanitation.  In the general hospital, fifteen people die every month of malaria or of typhoid fever and other diseases related to poor sanitation.  Consider that those who died in the hospital likely… Read more

September 17, 2018

I remember realizing that Stephanie Smith was the picture of COOL and BEAUTIFUL around sixth grade.  Her sisters were, too.  Her older sister, Sandy, did makeovers for all of us just-starting-puberty girls and showed me how to style my hair in a way I still use fifty years later.  (Note the photo of me in July 2018 with my hair done exactly as Sandy taught me when I was a teenager.) My earliest memory of the Smiths was the day… Read more

August 17, 2018

DO YOU SEE?   (1) For those who don’t know the play, here’s a brief introduction:   (a) Twins (Sebastian and Viola) shipwrecked, separated (each thinks the other has drowned); both come on the shores of Illyria but neither runs into the other; Viola dresses as her brother (and passes as a man) for protection; goes into service with Duke Orsino   (b) Duke Orsino is in love with Countess Olivia, who won’t give him the time of day  … Read more

May 8, 2018

When God was distributing wealth to all the nations on the earth, he fell asleep in the Congo and gems, minerals, oil, precious everything, fell out of his pocket.  Thus, the land became the richest land on earth. Does it follow that the richest land would summon the greatest greed? We know why the people are poor.  Now, what can be done about it? Read more

March 2, 2018

Twice a week, I babysit­­­­­­­ my granddaughter, who is quite certain that she is the center of the universe.  Until last month, she could sleep between her mother and father and say simply, “Some” and a nipple would be placed in her mouth. She will remain the center of the universe at least for awhile—maybe until a sibling joins her.  And then—disruption!  Disruption to all assumptions, disruption to all days, disruption to her own disruptions. She will eventually join other… Read more

January 15, 2018

Deux fois par semaine, je garde ma petite-fille, qui est certaine qu’elle est le centre de l’univers. Jusqu’au mois dernier, elle pouvait dormir entre sa mère et son père et dire simplement: «Some!» et un mamelon serait placé dans sa bouche. Elle restera le centre de l’univers au moins pendant un certain temps, peut-être jusqu’à ce qu’un frère ou une soeur la rejoigne. Et puis-perturbation! Perturbation de toutes les hypothèses, perturbation de tous les jours, perturbation de ses propres perturbations…. Read more

January 13, 2018

I love in a world.  The borders of my particular country are irrelevant in the eternal view. “And awake and arise form the dust, O daughter of Zion, and be no more confounded.  Enlarge thy borders forever!”       Read more

November 22, 2017

A few drops of food color into water, some flour (if it’s available), and voila!  Paint! I took enough brushes for each student in a classroom to have one (they will be kept in the office and shared in various classrooms), and we had a blast!  First time for these kids to do an art project like this?  Almost certainly. What’s in a name? COLOR! We left the supplies there, both at the Universite des Sciences and Technologies and at… Read more

November 21, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, while I was in Lodja, Democratic Republic of Congo, I was invited to a huge family gathering in honor of a powerful man who had gone from Lodja to important positions in the country’s capital.  There were at least one hundred people gathered to celebrate him and to greet me.  They danced, shouted, trilled, and otherwise rejoiced. At one point, a little girl came forward with her plastic doll.  The girl was a short-cropped beauty,… Read more

October 19, 2017

“Margaret, are you gríeving Over Golden grove unleaving?” This is how Douglas Thayer often greeted me when we met in the hallway of the Jesse Knight Building, where both of us taught for years.  I wonder if I was the only person who got such a greeting from his rich supply of poems.  I was still in my twenties, newly married to Bruce Young, when he first greeted me this way—in 1985. I had taken advanced creative writing from him… Read more

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