On Waiting…

We are sitting in a government office in Suleimaniyah (commonly called Suli) and we are waiting. We left Rania at seven in the morning. The sun had already welcomed the day and a beautiful breeze accompanied us on our walk to the university. The road between Rania and Suli begins as a one lane, heavily … Continue reading On Waiting…

Rania – Reflections on Place, Work, and Travel

I walk up the three flights of stairs to our apartment and unlock the door. I step inside and breathe a sigh of gratitude. No matter where you live, you need a home base. This is why the displacement and refugee crisis of our time is so important to care about. We are created for … Continue reading Rania – Reflections on Place, Work, and Travel

Peeling Pomegranates in Rania

I wake to a sun-filled room in Kurdistan. It is Friday and we have slept late, still catching up from hours of lost sleep in the last couple weeks of packing and moving. Friday begins our weekend in this part of the world, and the mosque behind our apartment reminds us that it is a … Continue reading Peeling Pomegranates in Rania

Enlarging our hearts in Ranya ڕانیه

It's difficult to believe that we have only been in Kurdistan for 48 hours. Our flight from Qatar was uneventful. We connected with another new faculty member just before boarding the plane. The fact that she spotted us so easily was a reminder that we are westerners and everything from the way we talk to … Continue reading Enlarging our hearts in Ranya ڕانیه

Next Stop Kurdistan

We head to the airport in Doha Qatar early in the morning. Already the air is heavy with heat. Humidity is high and my husband’s glasses fog up as soon as he steps outside. The majority of Qatar is not Qataris but those in Qatar for work or travel. It feels like a fascinating and … Continue reading Next Stop Kurdistan

About Iraq….

"Now, about Iraq...." We wish we had money for every time someone has asked about our future plans with that sentence! There are a number of questions we've been asked and a number that we have overheard, so to simplify things here is a list of frequently asked questions. You're moving where? We are moving … Continue reading About Iraq….

5 Newton Street – a Love Story

5 Newton Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 It was ten and a half years ago when I first walked through your front door. I will never forget the day - December 18, and Boston was experiencing the worst winter they had had in five years. Snow was piled high around you - your porch barely passable … Continue reading 5 Newton Street – a Love Story

That Magic Word – Home

My younger daughter was recently in Toronto at the wedding of a friend. On return she had some difficulty with her ticket and had to go early to the airport in order to clear it up. As she was talking to a woman in security, she said "I just want to get home." Responding with … Continue reading That Magic Word – Home

Goodbye 250

I get on the bus and swipe my Charlie Card, my ticket to discounted rides for the last ten and a half years. The bus driver nods as I say hello. There is room to sit down, but I stand. Central Square is a 12-minute walk from my house, but the bus is a wonderful … Continue reading Goodbye 250

Grace in a Bottle

It's so quiet that I can hear myself think. This is what hits me as I wake up early today. We are in Rockport, our happy place of rest and art; writing and thinking. Rockport allows me to pull away from the everyday stuff that distracts and rethink what is important. It is a place … Continue reading Grace in a Bottle

The View Becomes More Precious

Days are passing by quickly, and in every situation I am keenly aware that life as we know it is ending. The other day I sat on my porch in early morning. It has been hot and sticky, with little relief. The small air conditioner in our living room window combined with multiple fans on … Continue reading The View Becomes More Precious

Mountains of Transition

I'm on a balcony in South Carolina looking across at a lake and then mountains. There are mountains, and then more mountains, and beyond that, there are even more mountains. My view is stunning and soul-quieting; soul-quieting during a time where my soul deeply needs rest and my heart is beginning to feel the deep … Continue reading Mountains of Transition

Monday Wakes with an Invitation

Monday awakes, warm and muggy from rain that fell during the night. While the sun is trying hard to break through the clouds, it's not quite succeeding - as though the clouds are saying "It's our turn! You got Saturday!" Sometimes anthropomorphizing the weather is incredibly satisfying. It is perhaps easier to cope with clouds … Continue reading Monday Wakes with an Invitation

“Mawage is Wot Bwings us Togeder” Thoughts on 34 Years of Mawage

  "Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam... And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva... So tweasure your wuv." In the beloved classic Princess Bride, there is a wedding scene where the villain, Prince Humperdinck, is attempting to rush his marriage to Princess Buttercup. … Continue reading “Mawage is Wot Bwings us Togeder” Thoughts on 34 Years of Mawage

A Black Girl, A White Girl, and a Lemonade Stand

My subway stop in Cambridge is Central Square. I've written a bit about Central Square before, but the truth is, it's difficult to describe this area. While Harvard Square boasts history and sophistication and Kendall Square hosts Massachusetts Institute of Technology and nerdy innovation, Central Square is a cacophony of chaos. The community of homeless … Continue reading A Black Girl, A White Girl, and a Lemonade Stand

Dear Dad, I think you would have loved Mom’s birthday….

Dear Dad, Soon after you died, I began planning Mom's 90th Birthday. As I planned, I would periodically panic - something seemed to be missing. Now I know that something was a someone. It was you. Normally I would have talked to you about it, talked to you about what you would want to add, … Continue reading Dear Dad, I think you would have loved Mom’s birthday….

On Patriotic Parfaits and Competing Loyalties

The picture shows a perfect patriotic parfait: blue jello, white whipped cream, red strawberries. Above the perfect parfait was a sign that read "Patriotic Parfait. These Colors Don't Run!" Click the mouse and there's another version - blueberries, whipped cream, strawberries, more whipped cream. Red.White.Blue.Red.White.Blue - the colors echo through the dessert. And indeed, it is gorgeous.  … Continue reading On Patriotic Parfaits and Competing Loyalties