Author Archive | Melanie Bettinelli

On the Day I Called for Help

(An off the cuff reflection on Sunday’s Readings.) “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great… that I must go down and see whether or not their actions fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me. I mean to find out.”

 “Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered […]

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Quarantine and Cultural Memory

Today I’m thinking about quarantine and cultural memory. On our road trip to Pennsylvania we listened to Winter Holiday by Arthur Ransome. In the novel the children we met in Swallows and Amazons, the Walkers and the Blacketts, are enjoying a post-Christmas winter holiday in the Lake District before heading back to their boarding schools. […]

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Stumbling Stones

Stumbling Stone Not really a stone. A little bronze plate the size of a cobblestone, flush with the pavement. No one could trip over it except the way the eye catches on something bright and the mind cannot let it go, that idea that stays with you all day long until you go back to […]

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Gettysburg July 2019, Day III

On Wednesday we got up and had another camp breakfast of eggs and bacon. Taking time to cook breakfast and do the dishes after did mean that we didn’t hit the road until after 9. So we didn’t much escape the heat. We picked up at Little Round Top and did the second half of […]

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Room in Brooklyn

Room in Brooklyn High above the world, where the street sounds can’t hardly reach, her window with its lopsided shades looks over the rooftops where the clustered chimneys gaze back at the woman who sits so cozy in her wooden chair, now looking at her book now out at the ranks of windows, the red […]

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Gettysburg, July 2019, Day II

On Tuesday we had a camp breakfast: bacon, eggs, and bagels toasted in the bacon fat. After breakfast we headed to the Gettysburg National Military Park visitor center. The park itself is quite large, comprising the battlefields that almost surround the town. But the visitor center was the place to start. We did get a […]

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Gettysburg July 2019, Day I

We were supposed to have gone to Gettysburg last September on our way home from my family reunion in Kentucky. But Ben, who’d been fighting a cold since we left Massachusetts, developed an ear infection in the Smoky Mountains and was in serious pain so we cut short out road trip and drove straight home, […]

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Winter’s Night in the Mountains

Winter’s Night in the Mountains Just after sunset the sky is the perfect shade of heart-aching blue that you only see when the firmament yearns between daylight and dark. There isn’t a word for that color. And in the sky a silver star blazes heraldic between the two white peaks— (Or perhaps it’s a sliver […]

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Wrestling with the Angel

Wrestling with the Angel When I was ten (or was I six? or eight?) I had an infection in my right hip. Walking was agony, the joint inflamed. It was long ago, but I remember struggling to limp across the yard, stiff-legged in my plaid school jumper. Ever since, that joint has periodically rebelled— either […]

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