The Clock: A Story of Midnight

The Clock: A Story of Midnight

When my husband Bruce and I got married, his parents gave us a clock with a stained-glass face and a silently swinging pendulum. The clock face is covered with iridescent white flowers. It’s pretty, and it did its job reliably for more than thirty years. But last October, over a period of days, the clock began to act peculiarly. As a writer, I see in the things that happen day-to-day an opportunity for discovering hidden meaning. I couldn’t help but think, What’s up with the clock? And I couldn’t help but wonder—could its odd behavior be a sign? I started trying to figure it out.

Radius:  A Geometry of Fathers

Radius: A Geometry of Fathers

Occasionally, a caring presence comes to me while I sleep. He seems to be male in spirit. It’s always the same presence, and over the years, I’ve come to think he watches over me, a sort of father. The encounters seem more a vision than a dream. I’m left with a sense of the man, but the narrative details fade. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the word radius—the straight line between the center of a circle and a point along its circumference. Human lives are bounded by circles—family, community, nation, planet. I see the hate and trouble around us, and I chafe at how limited I am in my reach and my ability to lessen it. I think about my immediate sphere—my family and friends—and don’t know if I should feel happy for the closeness of it, or guilty over how small my circle is.

A Little Heat

A Little Heat

My mother picked up a green bell pepper and placed it on the cutting board. We were at the close of the growing season—the table was heaped with peppers, fresh from the earth. In moments, she had gutted and sectioned it. We were making pickled peppers, something Mom did every year. I was fourteen—this was my first time helping. “You do the yellow chilies,” she said. “Cut them in half, then take out the seeds. We’ll put a half pepper into each jar—they’ll add a little heat.” I nodded and set to work. The peppers felt smooth against my skin. They were lovely to look at. A little heat would be good. Looking back now, more than fifty years later, I have to say, yes, a little heat is good—until it’s not.

Donna Salli - Seated - Color

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