Category Archives: Writing

Lifeline~

“There are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
― Ann Landers

When I hear someone say they’ve been thrown a lifeline, I picture a round, white floatation device we used to call a ‘lifesaver’ with a line attached to a savior at its other end. That rescuer could be a person or thing; someone on a boat in my imagination, but certainly there are many other possibilities.

The other day, a writer friend suggested to me in a profound, sudden thought, that I might no longer need the lifeline writing has offered for the last decade of my life. It was one of those shocking pronouncements one is completely unprepared for, yet simultaneously recognize as truth. He was right. However, those distinctions between the gradations of lifelines from support to salvation, are legion and far apart; a distance almost as dramatic as the space between self-confidence and survival.

A savior, according to almost any English dictionary, is one who runs the gamut from protecting, to delivering, to liberating, before actually saving. But those definitions hint at the differences in lifelines, as well. The savior at the other end of the rope might be there only to shore up confidence rather than actually save a life. What does all this matter? In fact, a great deal. If you’ve ever shopped for life vests and been overwhelmed by the choices from ‘shallow water’ and ‘near shore’ floatation vests to USCG deep sea devices, you know there are as many different life-saving strategies as there are threatening situations. Throwing an inflatable vest to someone already in the water who can’t swim would be useless folly, while a simple, rigid life-saving ring with a line attached would work much better. A lifeline thrown to a skater on a pond of thin ice would be unnecessary for use on an indoor rink. Yet some kind of support, like the ingenious milk crates pushed in front of a beginner for balance could be essential confidence builders and balance insurance, warding off broken wrists and concussions. There are certainly real dangers in playing in the water or on its frozen counterpart without the skills to guard life and limb, but there are many ways to protect, reassure and even save the life of someone exposed to those dangers.

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Recovery Room

Walking up the block away from the East River, it’s hard to see through the soup…fog drifting in and out, clinging to things invisible with wispy wet tendrils. It reminds me of my husband’s brain tumor, and also the endless days of gray near the shore at certain times of the year. You just start to… Continue Reading

On Becoming “Remusicked”

‘Can we review the future?’ What a question. How can you re-view something you can’t see in the first place? Oh, I know there are people who plan their lives around it and wallow in angst or triumph over what they think is coming, but most of us know that’s a waste of time. Being… Continue Reading

Defining Line

It’s a seductive idea, that there could be a ‘line in the sand’ marking an absolute transition from one thing to another. I suppose it’s the absoluteness that’s appealing in a world many have come to think of as murky and ambiguous. I was reminded of the power of that need for definition recently when… Continue Reading

Pulp Fiction

I can imagine your breath catching when you first saw the title of this blog post. That’s not like Sidney, critiquing the racy stuff, commenting on…well who knows what?  If you were born, or just became a young adult after WW II, your reaction to the label ‘Pulp Fiction’ is predictable, and undoubtedly much the… Continue Reading

Foreground, Middle-Ground, Background

  Looking at a visual image through photography, video, paint or our own eyes, we’re aware of objects in three dimensions. They inhabit different grounds, and that gives them diverse prominence and meaning; all pretty obvious, except when we start to pay attention to the details drawing us into the story. I’ve been paying a… Continue Reading