For Auld Lang Syne

new years2A new year is an untouched expanse of snow, a freshly sharpened pencil, a blank page. It’s a reminder that our lives begin again and again. Yet in the very first minutes of the fledgling year, many of us will gather among friends and strangers and sing an old song that invites us to reflect on old friends, past loves, our complicated, meandering, fraught personal and collective histories.

With each passing year we ask again, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne?” Continue reading For Auld Lang Syne

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In between

four moonIt began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.                                      
                                                                           — Diane Ackerman

I’m waiting tables again. This past fall, a couple gaps in my teaching schedule left funds a little thin, so I picked up a couple nights a week at a place not far from home. Waiting tables has always been something I’ve done between other jobs, between teaching and writing and life. Often, the restaurants where I’ve worked have been staffed by artists and students and immigrants – people on their way to doing other things, people working two jobs or three to support families, put themselves through school, pursue creative projects, people between countries, languages and cultures. On top of all of those betweens, there’s the contrast between the staff racing around, keeping tabs on tables and drinks and entrees and the customers at rest, eating and drinking, catching up with friends.

Waiting tables makes me think about these collisions, these betweens. It also makes me want to go have a drink after work. So, the other night, somewhere between one day and the next, I was sitting at a bar with a couple new friends from the restaurant. Continue reading In between