Edith Andersen

Welcome to my blog of ruminations and essays.

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Loneliness is a feeling when you wish someone else were with you. Solitude is wanting the company of one—yourself.  Loneliness is a state of mind that thrives most in the midst of crowds. Solitude is a physical and mental state of choice. Stories of religious leaders and deep thinkers suggest that alone time is time […]

It’s not often you know something beyond a shadow of a doubt. I’m not talking about the space between more likely than not and beyond a reasonable doubt. I’m talking about no question in our mind. Although I didn’t witness the crime, every arrow pointed in the same direction. The facts are on my side. And most importantly, I saw the aftermath, nervousness, avoiding eye contact, and the body language. If you can’t trust your eyes, what can you trust?

Historians shape our view of the past in how they tell it. Most of premodern human history is told through the male lens. If they wrote about women at all, it was limited to women with exceptional talents, powerful women, or those who exercised extreme malice and evil. Likely, these male historians didn’t wear out their quill pen elaborating on the women’s point of view or their feelings. So the best we can do is to infer women’s emotional state from their reactions to their circumstances.

One thing I need for all of eternity is time with girlfriends. In my early twenties, children, husband, household, and my educational pursuits left little breathing time. But by my early thirties, I’d met women who became my sanity and confidants. A group of us started a monthly bridge group. Jeannie purchased a tablecloth listing different openings, Maureen (I think) got her hand on a bidding wheel, and we proceeded to learn to play Bridge. We drank into the night. We laughed until we near peed in our pants. Four decades later, our game hadn’t improved much, but the joy and sanity outweighed any concern.

My children’s memories differ from mine. “Mamma, you said you would babysit the kids every Saturday, October through April?” I recall saying, “I will babysit for you one Saturday between October and April.” Grandkids have good memories. “Amma, you said I could climb the oak tree at the playground when I turned six.” I believe Kai. The fact I don’t remember saying it holds no water in my bucket with holes. But now I wonder, is there a way to putty the holes?

The art of living. When you see it, you recognize it. It’s the simplest of actions and the healthiest of emotions. It’s living in balance with the present. It’s an old man sitting on a bench tossing breadcrumbs to birds. It’s me as a child looking out my bedroom skylight to watch the stars, the Milky Way, and the Aurora Borealis. It is you, eating a tangerine one section at a time.

The leeches were tough to pull off and left a mark that resembled a Mercedes-Benz logo. That may have been wishful thinking or a way to drown out my kids’ yelling for me to save them. Taking pity on them, an unfazed elder told them to sprinkle salt on the wormy critters (aka filthy little devils), and they’d fall off. They did.