Category Archives: Meditations

#369 Life goes on

A number of years ago, when my dad was dying, everything stopped. Like pressing pause, everything in my life was put on hold when I got the call to come home. I had been living in Ireland for about a year at that point, so it was inevitable to a certain degree because I couldn’t…

#366 The gifts of friendship and the sacrifice of parenting

“I heard The Mister is back in Galway tonight. Are you OK?” “There’s a bottomless well of support, just so you know.” “G told me last night. How are you doing?” “You ok? I see a missed call. Phone has been dead for a few days. I heard about what happened. Is The Mister OK?”…

Day #363 The Waiting Game

You know what I’m talking about.¬†Everyone plays the waiting game. All the time. I’ve had cause recently to reflect on waiting and have come to the conclusion that there are many different types of waiting, but they all come down to a delicate balance of the same things: time, patience and discipline, and circumstance. On…

Day #350 The effort of friendship

Dear Brain, I have another email from you this morning with tough news about your mom. I’m sorry that I didn’t write to you before. I have your previous two emails flagged for a response but somehow there was never any time. I am reminded of you often, whenever I come to bed and see…

Day #348 The sound of nothing

There are the days when the words won’t stop coming. And then there are all the days when they don’t appear at all. Sometimes there simply isn’t anything to say. You can fill the space with noise and distraction but the spirit is empty and the substance is hollow. Other times, you have words exploding…

Day #280 The Snail’s Tale

This morning was one of those not quite completely miserable but still utterly unpleasant Irish mornings. The temperatures were warm but the drizzle drenched everything without actually forming much in the way of rain drops. Struggling with a rain cover for the stroller, while standing in the rain, is one of those things that can…

Day #272 Growing up with books

At one point this past weekend I found myself in a bookstore looking for something very specific. In the end, I didn’t find what I was looking for, however, I did get lost in the children’s section in anticipation of Hawkeye’s upcoming third birthday. I have been struggling at the local library with finding books…

Day #271 When the stars threw down their spears

As someone who formerly studied international relations and international politics, I am enjoy staying informed about current events. I will admit that the last few years, marked as they have been by the prevalence of child-induced sleep deprivation and fatigue, I have made less efforts to do so on occasions. But I am generally not…

I was discussing my post on my childhood memories of Russia with my mother the other day when she said to me "I have no recollection of Mama cutting up brown paper to use in the bathroom. Are you sure it was brown paper?"

"Yes," I replied. "It's one of my most vivid memories."

"Strange," my mum said. "I remember her singing while cooking, and sitting at the sewing machine, but not this."

"But surely you remember extended periods of not having any actual toilet paper available, right?"

"Oh, yes!" she assured me. "That was definitely the case, especially toward the end when we were there, it was very hard to get toilet paper anywhere. In fact, toilet paper was considered the best gift you could bring with you to a dinner party at that time. Much more appreciated than alcohol or cake!"

Postscript for Day #255 “Childhood Nostalgia”