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Category Archives: Comments on Life

The Journals of Jean Sibelius.

21-Oct-17

At a certain point in my college career I stopped worrying very much about my classes, and decided to get my education directly from the university library.  One of the books I read at the time was Erik Tawaststjerna’s monumental three-volume biography of Sibelius.  I often find that great musicians can also write, but Sibelius […]

Twenty Months.

01-Sep-17

Catherine has taken the children down to New York City, stopping there briefly before heading west. I am left alone in the cabin for the last few days of summer. After Labor Day I will join Catherine in Ohio, where we will spend the final month of Catherine’s pregnancy, awaiting the birth of our third […]

A Tale of Home Birth, Part 3 (of 3).

06-Mar-16

And now our children were safely born, we looked around us. The midwives were cleaning up. The children’s water had not broken until they were being delivered, and for our daughter that meant right on the bed. The amniotic fluid was mixed with blood and formed a pool in the center of the bed where […]

Prolegomena to a Tale of a Home Birth.

11-Feb-16

I’ve already gotten some fairly vehement criticism for being party to a home birth. So far, I’ve been told that I was a “wack” who had “subjected your children to unnecessary risk so it could be a subjectively prettier event,” “an aesthetic decision that put others at risk needlessly and recklessly.” And that any other […]

Home Birth, Part 2.

11-Feb-16

[Part 1 of this is here.  A third part is here.] It was a cold night, one of the few cold nights we’ve had this winter, and the house needed to be very warm for the birth. I opened all the vents on the stove in the living room, threw some logs into it, and […]

Home Birth, Part 1.

21-Jan-16

[This was originally begun January 10th, but it took ten days of editing and tinkering for me to finally cut the whole essay in half and post this first half.  The other will follow shortly. [it is here]] I’m disregarding, as I write this, the good advice all new parents disregard. Like most wise counsel […]

Pregnancy.

28-Dec-15

I’ve become aware in the past few days that this period of my life – the time when my wife is pregnant with our first child – is about to end. I’ve already started to get a bit sentimental, wondering if I’ve taken enough pictures, or enjoyed it enough. Soon it will be over, and […]

Hannah and Her Sisters.

09-Dec-15

Three years ago, for Valentine’s Day, the Fox Theater in Tucson was showing Annie Hall, which gave me the privilege of seeing it in a theater. It had been twenty years since I had seen it last, and it amazed me: its inventiveness, its consistently good humor, the truly impressive way that it brings you […]

One Piece.

16-Nov-15

With a baby on the way in just a few weeks, I have all kinds of thoughts about parenting, but they are difficult to put in words – in part because this is one of the most deeply personal things we do, and also one of the things we have the most inflexible opinions about: […]

Racism, Wimbledon, Sexuality

13-Jul-15

I read this morning the New York Times’ piece on women’s body image which has stirred up some controversy – how Serena Williams physique is excellent for tennis, but certain professional tennis players or their coaches were quoted saying they didn’t want such a body, because it made them seem or feel less feminine and […]