Dear Suicide,

"You want to know the saddest thing?" she said.  "Last year nine students committed suicide.  Nine undergraduate students."  I bowed my head a little and agreed, "it really is the saddest thing".

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Growing up poor and winning the lottery

What does it mean, that the weight and heft of my mother’s life can be measured by a number, and that the sum of her struggles and sacrifices has been spent, in part, on my thoughtless folly?...“It’s not a question of whether you deserve it,” someone once said to me.  “But you have it, and now you've to figure out what you do with it.”  It demands I take responsibility, and when dealing with it, I feel a great deal of pain. 

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What are you committed to?

There are seven billion people in the world committed to different things, at different times, in different ways. And each person is a door to a part of the world I haven't known before.

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In the middle of the room stands a suicide

For a while I wondered how it would feel to have lived more than half my life without my mother.  I wouldn’t have guessed, that I’d learn how to be angry at her.

I read somewhere that “losing a parent as a child is more than grief.”  How much more?

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Alcohol, let's go on a break.

When I think about how even two glasses of wine makes me feel I realise that one of the things I love about it is how it lets me off the hook, in the sense that I’m one of the group but also less like myself; I’m insulated from the world, what’s happening around me and also what’s happening inside, what I’m thinking about.

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Home is where..

I know how your first impression will go: you'll notice the high ceilings, with skylights, filtering sunshine throughout the large space.  It is the New York warehouse apartment, that all the New York-style warehouse apartments, all over the world, strive to be.

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How to find a Venetian in Venice..

The Palazzos need constant renovation; they are sinking.  Walls crack, salt crumbles rock and wood easily.  The city is drowning.  But every year, the palazzos are renovated. Someone falls in love with the city for the first time.

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Why do we wish the dead 'Happy Birthday'?

My mother died 12 years ago.

It’s been so long, I can’t even remember what it was like when she was alive.  I just have this general sense that it was a ‘good time’.  A ‘happy time’.  I love her dearly, always.  And if you ask me why, now, all I might be able to say is, because she loved me too.  Believed in me.  She brought me here, and raised me, and set me free.

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Pretending to be a young professional

Getting the job was just one gruelling hurdle after another.  You passed law school. You suited up for the interview process.  Tried to maintain intelligent conversation at cocktail parties.  Spent 4 weeks anxiety-ridden and eager to impress during the vacation summer program. 

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A thought for absent fathers

The last three words I wrote to my father.  I can see he saw them three months ago.  On July 6 2014.  Three baby blue words lapsing into the wasteland of Other Things on the Internet.  No reply rendering them pathetic.  To the right, the chats column offers no excuse: he was active 3m ago.

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Me + my mum

She fought bears beside my cot as a baby.  All alone.  Just her against the bears that clawed at me.  I remember her battling wordlessly in the moonlight.  With unwavering strength.  Fighting all through the night to be my mother all through the day.

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