The Heart of All Resistance

With the passing of Adrienne Rich on March 27, the Central Coast lost an extraordinary poet: among her legacies is a vision of how to live as a public person. I saw this first in 1975, as one of a group of women graduate students at San Francisco State who had begun organizing to change […]

Mid-Winter: A life without students

February, 2008—written when I was away from teaching:       It is mid-winter, mid-winter quarter, the grey half-way point in the academic year. In this mid-winter of the mind, one casts about for signs of a downhill slope. The surviving cherry trees outside McHenry library will soon explode into unseasonable showers of pink, and […]

Dancing with Death

To say I am shadowed by death is inaccurate, implying that I am either haunted or endangered. It is perhaps better to say that I am engaged with death, that both purposefully and accidentally I deal with my horror of death, my fundamental objection to death, by dancing with it—a kind of do-si-do. I turn […]

Me and my Shadows

I keep thinking of those contra dances where you move down a line, circling, stomping and bowing first to one partner, then another. I am never not dancing and never dancing alone, though my changing partners are invisible. As I move in and out of daily life, fraught as it is by complexities and discomforts, […]