I am exhilarated by my file folders. I purchased a new box recently. Printed out the categories on my Brother label maker after I blew the dust off and inserted new batteries, amazed that it still worked. Carefully peeled the sticker backing off, placed it squarely on the paper tags, and slid them neatly into the plastic tabs and onto the crisp cardboard of the folders. They all stand at attention, in a row, none sagging or starting to tear yet. They stare back at me with smiles, with hope. The newness, the order of them thrills me, makes me…


Recently I spent time with a friend who had just lost her brother to a senseless accident. I heard the need below her request for friendship to look into the eyes of someone who had survived great sorrow and see for herself that it can be done. So I listened, which is all we can really do in the face of each other’s grief, and had a few words of compassion and care to share. Things about being gentle with yourself and a technique for riding the waves of emotions, and then we parted ways. …


For most of my life I considered myself a freak. Actually, freak would be a step up. I felt sub-human, dirty, damaged, something to be hidden away. I didn’t know why I felt these things but I quickly became adept at hiding them. Blending in. As a child I remember watching The Invasion of the Body Snatchers with Donald Sutherland. It terrified me. Not the pods that took over your body, that didn’t faze me all that much. No, it was the scene at the end, when Donald still hasn’t been turned and realizes that he needs to mimic the…


Earth shattering. A phrase that’s so common, we fail to think about its separate parts. Earth — the largest mass known, the core element of our planet and, if you believe the Bible, even the substance of our own humblest beginnings. To shatter, which is to break apart beyond repair into infinitesimal microscopic parts. To break that foundation which supports our bodies, to rend that which our soul is composed of into something forever beyond repair. That is basically what it feels like the day you realize your father is a monster.

There are other emotions too, of course. Sadness…

Annie Piombino

Talks about the stuff other people won’t. Warrior Mom, loving wife, passionate photographer. www.annepiombino.com

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