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October 25, 2014
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River Muse

Lessons of the open road

An astronaut recently returned from space travel with the observation that “everything seems smaller now.” I know what he means. It was precisely my experience returning home from a 9,000 mile road trip across America. “Smaller” as in more achievable, less daunting rather than insignificant. Imagination often has its own agenda. When I imagined this journey, as I did many times over decades, I worried about the long flat stretches of the Great Plains, the heat and desolation of the deserts, the rough inclines of the mountains.  Read more

Wanderlusting

There has always been a wanderlust in me, seeking escape from the known to the unknown. A train whistle in the night excites my senses. I yearn for the freedom of an open road. So it was not a hard sell, this road trip from New York to California with my daughter promising to share the wheel, her newly minted driver’s license in hand. The moment the idea loosened from her lips, I seized it, imagining nights around a campfire and days exploring small towns and grand vistas.  Read more

Time travel

As I prepare to set out on a journey of 10,000 miles with my 20-year-old daughter, I am also being swept back in time by a group of people I have not seen in 40 years. As a result, I am dangling in a kind of suspended animation between the past and the future. It may be that we all live this way every day without awareness; but right now I am aware.  Read more

An Earth Day column

Everyone wants me to celebrate Earth Day. My inbox is full of green mail—no trees were harmed in the making—urging me to buy shoes and cosmetics, go to a yoga retreat and help Robert Redford rally the American people. Of all these, I’m most likely to buy shoes, but I’m not deluded that it will help the earth.  Read more

Keeping secrets

How well do you keep a secret? When your best friend tells you something in confidence, do you tell your husband and no-one else? Do you tell a small circle of friends and hope they’ll keep it in the circle? In my experience, keeping a secret that doesn’t involve our personal safety is rare and difficult.  Read more

When food is the best medicine

Our six-year old Schnauzer Aengus has taught us a thing or two about love since we brought him home from a pet store in Port Jervis at eight weeks old. We named him Aengus, Dog of Love, knowing immediately that love was what he was all about, for us. His name was a play on words: Aengus is the Celtic god of love for whom Yeats wrote “The Song of Wandering Aengus.”  Read more

‘...Next!’

Thirty-five years after graduating with a BFA in Acting, I was going to my first commercial audition in NYC. This was the real deal, arranged for me by an agent who was taking a chance on an actress who had not taken a chance in 35 years.

Ann Berlin has been “in the business” at least as long as I have been “out” of it. When she agreed to represent me, I was full of giddy anticipation of the opportunities ahead. I wasn’t angling for a lead on Broadway so much as hoping for a role as a bag lady on “Law & Order” or in a commercial selling long-term care insurance.  Read more

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