Artist: Willa Cather & Houghton Mifflin Company Title: My Ántonia Date: 1918; copyright renewed 1977 Culture: American Literature Provenance: Given to EAH by her mother in July of 1987 I recently found myself thumbing through my old copy of My Ántonia and felt an unexpected ache. I'm sure this is partly because I associate the … Continue reading No. 13: My Ántonia
Artist: Unknown—Copy of Theophan the Greek Title: Copy of the Icon of the Donskoi Mother of God Date: Modern copy of 14th century icon Culture: Russian/Byzantine Provenance: Purchased as a souvenir by EAH by at the Donskoi Monastery in Moscow in 2011. In the spring of 2011, I visited Moscow for the first time in … Continue reading No. 6: Icon of the Donskoi Mother of God
Three years ago today was the worst day of my life. I had flown to my parents' home to travel back to Seattle with my ailing mother, as my parents were moving to Seattle. Even though she was quite ill, we had hope that she would continue her treatment in Seattle and have some more … Continue reading Personal Totems
I have always loved Christmas. As a child, there was the wonder of bringing a tree inside the house, adorning it with baubles, and watching them glitter in the tree lights. There were nighttime celebrations that took me outside where the lights glittered across the snow. The world itself seemed to twinkle. I still like … Continue reading Christmas Ghosts
I was glued to my TV last Thursday when Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee. I found her sympathetic and credible, and her testimony has had me thinking about memory. It's strange that those attacking her credibility seem to think that either you wholly remember something or you don't … Continue reading Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.
In one of my graduate classes, Research Techniques in Renaissance Studies, I studied the history of scholarship and manuscripts. One of the things I found most interesting was the palimpsest. Since books were made from expensive parchment (animal skin), corrections were not easy to make. Images couldn't simply be erased with a rubber eraser, nor … Continue reading Palimpsest
I have spent the last seventeen years—minus a brief stint in Minnesota—living in the East. Though my adult life has been spent among the rolling hills and forests and strip malls of the East, my heart is firmly entrenched in the open skies and yawning spaces of the Midwest. When I was a kid my … Continue reading Landscape, Memory, and Home