We know we are very special

Rijksmuseum
The library in the Rijksmuseum.

One of the few things that makes me look forward to child-rearing is reading to my (hypothetical) children. I am going to read them everything. I think about my beloved Great Aunt Lib, who was my pen pal for many years. She raised these two brilliant children, and family lore holds that she spent a year reading aloud to them from War and Peace when they were still small.

I hope to have children who want to read so much that I cannot keep up with them. That I have to turn them loose in the library, as my mother did, and say, “Good luck, Godspeed, see you in a few hours.”

How many of you have parents who are voting for Trump? Or, how many of you have parents who are not voting at all? How scared should we all be right now?

It’s taking just about all of my willpower to resist the urge to turn this into a political screed. But I am tired. The election is on my mind all day, every day. Before I fall asleep, I turn to Guion and say often, “Guion, fix it,” à la Zuzu to George Bailey. As if he could somehow harness that white maleness, wave a wand, and make it all go away. We are just about a month away from the election, and I feel a plain sense of terror. Mixed also with sadness. How did things get this bad?

At least we still have Lydia Davis. And Goodreads. And Solange Knowles. And dogs.

We know we are very special. Yet we keep trying to find out in what way: not this way, not that way, then what way?

— Lydia Davis, “Special”

Cold city of beautiful giants

Charming AmsterdamDespite the cold, we had a lovely past weekend in Amsterdam. I’ve always wanted to visit, namely because my dad is half Dutch, and I bear a vague sense of family longing for this place I have never seen. We had just the briefest introduction to Holland, but it was certainly a charming one. Such gorgeous, friendly people living peaceably in such a gorgeous, friendly city.

AmsterdamCharming Amsterdam

Red light district
The red light district is really not that shady in the daytime.
Vondelpark
Gazebo and tulips in Vondelpark.
Vondelpark
European ducks are flashier than the ones we have in the US.
Amsterdam
Husband in Vondelpark.
Rijksmuseum
Rijksmuseum.

Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum
Obligatory windmill painting.
Rijksmuseum
Library in the Rijksmuseum.
Rijksmuseum
Rembrandt’s “Night Watch.”

Hope to see you again, (distant) homeland.

Amsterdam