Little Magic

Culture, Little Magic

The King of Sorts

7 Written by: | Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 11:54am

Here at the beach, I track the firmest sand at water’s edge each day, keeping an eye out for conch shells.  On the land side, there are meals to plan, groceries to gather.  On the sea side are the gods and goddesses—Venus borne to land in a clamshell, sea monsters, all the archetypes of the collective unconscious that feed the imagination.  The deep sea has always symbolized, among other things, the unconscious mind.  Play here, at water’s edge, but don’t be swept away. Read More →

Little Magic

Operating Instructions from the Mother Ship

2 Written by: | Wednesday, May 24, 2017 12:01pm

Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert’s manifesto on creativity, was published years after her runaway bestseller Eat Pray Love.  It’s not just for artistic types.  Consider her definition of what it means to live a creative life: any life where you consistently choose curiosity over fear. Read More →

Little Magic

Child Whispering

7 Written by: | Wednesday, Apr 26, 2017 12:05pm

The writer as a child with her mother and brother.

“Experience has taught us that we have only one enduring weapon in our struggle against mental illness:  the emotional discovery of the truth about the unique history of our childhood.” 

So begins Alice Miller’s The Drama of the Gifted Child, a book that’s been kicking around for the better part of four decades.  Strangely, no fewer than four people have mentioned to me in recent weeks.  Finally, I got a copy. Read More →

Little Magic

Sap Moon and the Mother

4 Written by: | Wednesday, Mar 22, 2017 12:01pm

The March full moon, the last full moon of winter, is known in some parts as the Sap Moon when evidence of life below the frozen surface begins to trickle forth sweetly.  Sugar season.  This year’s Sap Moon coincided with a trip home to Vermont to visit my mother who recently fell and broke four ribs. Read More →

Culture, Featured, Little Magic

Little Magic: Chaos in Wonderland

5 Written by: | Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 12:01pm

I’d begun to dream, night dreams, about oil painting. I followed them to a midtown art store. Maybe trying something new would address a mood of stagnation, a creative slump. The day was dreary, rain and a deep chill in the air. I prowled the aisles in my dripping slicker. When the salesperson, asked if I was looking for anything in particular, I said, vaguely, “Just poking around.”

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Little Magic

One Wing Down

7 Written by: | Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017 11:55am

Out walking the first day of vacation in Vermont, I fell on ice and broke my wrist.  I knew immediately.  At the closest urgent care facility 45 minutes away, I was treated by a hand specialist who performed a “reduction” which I, even in my ignorance, recognized as a euphemism for some procedure that would test the limits of my fragile courage. Read More →

Little Magic, Parties

Nothing to Wear

1 Written by: | Wednesday, Dec 28, 2016 11:11am

Thinking that I’d be caught in a rut the next social function, my wardrobe ever inadequate to the demands, I went online.  There I found a red dress that took up residence in my imagination.  It was spring, not traditionally a red time of year, and I had not gone looking for a red dress. There’s not a single shade of red in my color palette, and I’d come to avoid it, though that hadn’t always been the case. Read More →

Little Magic, My Real Life Modern Family

The Journey of Dementia

5 Written by: | Wednesday, Nov 23, 2016 10:00am

dementia image

My sister and I had traveled home to give my brother a break.  We were with my mother at her primary care physician’s, technically a licensed nurse practitioner whose manner is part game show host, part private investigator.  We all love her.  After the good news –physically Mom was in top form — Lynne shifted gears, getting to the real reason we were there. Read More →

Little Magic

Our Girl’s Mad Libs

5 Written by: | Wednesday, Oct 26, 2016 12:00pm

woman in the woods

Up early reading, our girl stumbles upon this: “In truth, few of us have been well-touched.” And, a bit later, the term dysfunctions of touch. Naturally, she starts thinking about the many stories of groping/rape/physical abuse that have been popping up everywhere, about the “dysfunctions of touch” that women, in particular, have endured. The stories have become so common, in fact, that it’s been suggested that the women who step up to tell them may have an ulterior motive/hunger for attention, or maybe that their stories are fiction/just a pack of lies/part of a vast conspiracy. Read More →

Featured, Little Magic

Closing the Gap

9 Written by: | Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016 11:55am



I’m speaking of the gap between upper left canine and bicuspid that first appeared after dental work on a back molar several years ago. Flossing, which had before then had been tricky on account of too close contact, suddenly posed a new problem:  the floss flew through this gap, catching on nothing.  I coped as best I could, relying heavily on dental picks.  Recently my dentist proposed a more thorough cleaning with anesthesia.  After this “good” cleaning, he would build up the gap, restoring favorable relations between those once sympathetic neighbors.  I practically leapt at the prospect. Read More →

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