Karen’s Letter: Finding Resilience

I’ve felt low this week and I’m not sure why. Of course I know why. The world’s in a mess, and my own country is amongst the worst of it. But I’m not sure why it struck me so hard this week. The feelings come in waves: I feel tense, angry, overwhelmed. I just want to be left alone. I don’t want to have another Zoom meeting. I want to have friends to supper. I want to sit at a bar with a martini with lots of people around me. But [...]

December 29th, 2021|Categories: Oddments|

Women’s Paths to Power

An extract from the chapter "Leading from the Fringes: Women’s Paths to Political Power" by Karen Christensen, published in Women & Leadership: History, Theories, and Case Studies edited by George R. Goethals and Crystal A. Hoyt of the Jepson Leadership Academy, University of Richmond (Berkshire 2017). A link to the PDF of the full chapter is provided below. A common English-language expression is that “behind every great man there’s a woman.” These women have been largely invisible, praised for their self-effacement and their tolerance of the sometimes less-than-admirable behavior of their great men. [...]

October 13th, 2017|Categories: Oddments, Writing a Woman's Life|

Early, early springtime in Manhattan: a walk in Battery Park

I feel guilty when I take my phone out on a walk, and tell myself that "it's really just a camera." Taking photos like this one, taken yesterday along the Hudson at Battery Park, isn't something I'll give up. But as I walk I hear conversations, or halves of conversations, and find myself sad to think that maybe a quarter of the people        

February 28th, 2017|Categories: Oddments|

Whole-fruit marmalade

We often order a box of grapefruit at Christmas. I had opened the last jar of homemade marmalade in early December and it is also the season in Florida for Seville oranges, the ugly, bitter fruit that produces a delicious preserve. I’ve discovered that it improves with aging. That last jar I was finishing was five years old and had a deep, mellow bittersweetness. (Good marmalade is a balance of sweet, sour, and bitter.) The Orange Shop has a flat shipping rate and offered a much better price on four [...]

December 27th, 2015|Categories: Oddments|Tags: , |

The 1st of July: Rain. Rain. Rain and thunder.

There's nothing like getting to a safe haven before the storm begins. It's even better when thunder is echoing through the hills, lightning is flashing, and there's a fresh pot of tea. My safe haven is a writing studio in the garden.

July 1st, 2015|Categories: Oddments|

Golden harbinger of spring

The winter aconite is always the first sign of spring in my garden in Great Barrington, even before the snowdrops, and definitely before the robins. The

March 26th, 2015|Categories: Oddments|Tags: |