You Who Know

2022-05-17T17:05:32-07:00Categories: arts, creative aging, family, featured posts, feminism, health & medicine, human rights, parenting, Seattle, women's rights|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Who knew that one of the central themes of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro is droit du seigneur, the feudal “lord’s right” granting the lord of a medieval European manor “sexual relations with servant brides on their wedding night?” Since I am a kindergarten-level opera fan, I am grateful to Seattle Opera General Director Christina Scheppelmann for stating it so clearly in her program notes. Because who knew I’d be watching The Marriage of Figaro—the first performance I’ve seen in Seattle’s McCaw Hall since before the pandemic—just days after the leaking of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s medieval memo detailing his lordly belief in a woman’s lack of rights over her own body? On the morning of Mother’s Day, I googled “senior rush tickets Seattle Opera.” Yes, the Opera’s rush ticket program was alive and well and yes, I now qualified! So off I went to McCaw Hall, where I bought my ticket at 12:30, which gave me plenty of time for a long walk. The sun was out at last, and the lovingly tended gardens of nearby Queen Anne Hill sparkled as they shook off the rain. By 2 p.m. I was back at McCaw, happily settled in my seat in Row P on the main floor, just off the aisle. Forty-five dollars felt like both a splurge—so self-indulgent!—and a bargain: only $45 for such a fabulous seat! And what a delightful, self-indulgent bargain of a splurge it was. To hear and see, in person, in all the immersive, sensory beauty that the word “live” [...]

Lost & Found Mom

2019-11-07T15:47:21-08:00Categories: brain, faith and doubt, family, memoir, midlife, parenting|Tags: , , |

When I saw that dirt-colored linoleum, I knew I had to act. Fast. Thanks to my mom, I knew how. Yellow pages: rugs. Phone. Directions. “Vicky,” I said to my brand-new college roommate, “will you go in with me on a rug? It’ll cost us 40 dollars.” She said yes. And so off I went, via bus and subway, into a Boston neighborhood not normally frequented by Wellesley College freshmen from faraway states. I bought the rug: short nap, sky blue. I truly can’t remember how I got it back to the dorm. What caught me by surprise was how impressed my roommate and hallmates were. To me, this was a logical reaction to a crisis of ugliness. To them, it was all about me being a plucky Western girl, an Annie Oakley who got stuff done. But I knew the truth, which was that I had simply channeled my inner Arlene: my mom, that is, and the example she had always set of moving right past hand-wringing and right into making things better. I always wince when I use the words “lost” and “mom” in the same sentence. Because she’s not lost. She’s right here, inside me. I am sure my brother and sisters feel the same way. She was and is far too powerful a beacon to be “lost.” Gone, yes, and too young: Alzheimer’s started stealing bits of her when she was my age and kept at it for quite a long time. She died in 2006, at 74, after many years during [...]

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