Therese DesCamp

The Kitchen of Love: Eating Gimpy

In the kitchen of love,  only the beautiful are killed. Death does not frighten a true lover  for those not dying for love are already corpses. –Rumi Translation by Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin I knew it was her as soon as I pulled the bag out of the freezer.  I knew because she looked … Read more

Wide Spot: Revisionist History

Last night, out of the blue, an email arrived bearing a 43-year-old video. Sent via a chain of friends and relatives, the clip showed me at my first wedding, singing my heart out to the accompaniment of a slide guitar. My niece appended a note saying that she fully expected Pete Seeger to come onstage … Read more

Wide Spot: Cook Your Potatoes

It’s a fallacy that deer don’t eat potatoes, or at least strip the plants naked. I guess I should be grateful for the stalks and tubers left behind, and hope that the deer get sick enough to discourage further nocturnal raids. It’s another fallacy that talking about how we feel always results in connectedness, support, … Read more

Wide Spot: Fresh New Hell

The line “What fresh new hell is this?” was famously coined by the American critic Dorothy Parker when her writing was interrupted by the telephone. There’s something deeply true captured by Parker’s flippant phrase, that oh-so-human experience of feeling overwhelmed by one calamity while still in the throes of previous one. I prefer numbness to … Read more

Wide Spot: Moral Proximity

I am an avid reader; unlike my high-minded family and friends, however, I prefer novels to non-fiction. A well-written novel can introduce me to a whole new way of understanding the world, like Richard Powers’ The Overstory. Even the deceptively simple novels of the ethicist Alexander McCall Smith—such as The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency … Read more

Wide Spot: Close the Language-Door

I thank my lucky stars (as my mom used to say) that I have a dog. Among other things, having a dog means that I am committed, no matter how somnolent, to an 11 p.m. walk every night around the front yard. Last week’s yard visits included views of the full moon—more accurately, the Pink … Read more

Wide Spot: Proximity Incontinence

I remember walking home from school through the autumn leaves and sunshine, hurrying a little. Six years old, I had a full bladder and 8 blocks to cover. Things were fine until I reached the notoriously-hard-to-open back door. I yanked; it stayed shut. After a few more fruitless tugs, there on the concrete steps, urgency … Read more

Wide Spot: Feeling or Fact?

Two conversations and two questions: in the first exchange, a woman assured me that she was right in her stance about wearing/not wearing a mask because she could “feel it in her body.” In the second, a man said that when someone criticized him, she was being abusive—he knew this to be true because of … Read more