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Poetry Friday: “The Embrace”

By Elizabeth SmitherAugust 26, 2016

Poetry can recall us to the sensuousness of ordinary experience. Elizabeth Smither does this in “The Embrace” through the pointed choice of particular details. We are invited into a room in which almost nothing is happening, yet the room fills with sumptuously imaged life: two pianos which seem to be playing (though literally they’re not);…

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Airbnb and the Art of Hospitality

By Sara ZarrJuly 13, 2015

Though Airbnb is born of modern times and technology, it almost seems a throwback to the art of innkeeping in much earlier eras when for a reasonable fee people opened up extra space in their homes, however humble, to strangers. And to me it’s somewhat remarkable in our suspicious age that people would do this. Hosts are making themselves and their things vulnerable by leaving their homes and appliances and personal belongings in the hands of unsupervised strangers. Guests are trusting that the space will be as advertised, and relying on the hosts for good information and functional plumbing.

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The Veil Between Us

By Alissa Herbaly CoonsJune 21, 2011

I looked up from washing dishes one morning last spring and saw a cluster of women in Islamic dress walking away from the school bus stop outside our window. They wandered off by pairs or threes, hijabs with hijabs, niqabs with niqabs, away into the side streets. My hands slowed in the water, my baby…

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Welcome, Memory

By Brian VolckMarch 16, 2010

We were having dinner at a friend’s house: a gathering of colleagues enjoying one another’s company with good food, relaxed conversation, a glass of wine. While we spoke of neighborhoods, children, and schools, it dawned on me that my friend, Doug, lived just doors from my grandparents’ old house. My grandparents are now long dead,…

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