Posts made in June, 2012

Writers and Wide Open Spaces

Posted by on Jun 27, 2012 in Archive | 6 comments

Writers and Wide Open Spaces

This is a photo of a stream in a natural area not far from our cottage. The stream goes on among the untrodden ways  year after year, sparkling and blushing, mostly unseen. Secret, exciting. Jerry Dennis, who’s written about Michigan in language that makes your mouth water and your eyes cry—he and I were driving up to Petoskey last week to be on a panel of Michigan writers at the International Hemingway Society Conference to talk about the influence of northern Michigan on writers. As we drove, we were talking about how important open space is to our work. I suppose I haven’t fully...

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Cathedral of the Body, Continued

Posted by on Jun 19, 2012 in Archive | 9 comments

Cathedral of the Body, Continued

Last Wednesday, I left you in the family waiting room of Munson Hospital while my sister had a very risky back surgery. I’ll bring you up to date. Once the surgeon saw what a mess her back was, he had to fuse four levels of her spine. “I don’t see how she stood the pain,” he said to us afterward. I got to the hospital at 6 a.m. and left at 10:30 p.m. We weren’t allowed to see her for hours after the surgery because they were trying to stabilize her blood pressure. (She no longer has a pituitary to do that work for her.) They pumped her so full of blood, platelets, and fluids to keep...

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Cathedral of the Body

Posted by on Jun 13, 2012 in Archive | 10 comments

Cathedral of the Body

It’s 10 a.m. I’m sitting in the surgical waiting room with my brother-in-law John and my nephew Kevin. It will be five hours total before my sister’s surgery is over. Yes. The decision was made to operate. We were to be at the hospital at 6:30 to give her our last hugs. At 6 the nurse came in and imperiously announced that O.R. was ready, they had to go now. My sister Millie teared up. “Tell John I love him,” she said. I was furious but not showing it. They’d said 6:30. But happily, John and Kevin walked in just that minute. In pre-op, the surgeon put her MRI pictures on the...

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Deliver Me From Metaphor

Posted by on Jun 5, 2012 in Archive | 9 comments

Deliver Me From Metaphor

This is a picture of my beautiful sister Millie before her brain tumor. She’s  in the hospital again, this time with unbearable pain from her collapsed spine, a result of eight years of taking Prednisone to replace the work of her pituitary, which was wrecked when a large benign tumor was removed from her brain. The pain is awful and continuous. They can’t operate on her spine in her condition. They throw a cocktail of drugs at it. So phrases from the poem I wrote about her original surgery and her long unconsciousness afterward come to mind. Not a poem. I couldn’t write a poem. It...

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