Small Things That Have No Words

By Lee Martin / August 15, 2021

When my father suffered his first heart attack in October, 1979, other farmers from our township brought their combines to our fields. They harvested our soybeans, loaded them onto their grain trucks, and drove them to the elevator, all on behalf of my incapacitated father. They did what their fathers had done, and their father’s…

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Together!

By Roberta Gately / June 8, 2021

Was it only a year ago that life as we knew it, came to a swift and unexpected halt as, what was then, a strange new virus, Covid-19, was moving like wildfire through Europe and Asia and then it was suddenly on our doorstep. “A pandemic is upon us. Two weeks.” they said, “will allow…

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The Tender Time

By Lee Martin / April 4, 2021

Why wouldn’t there be geese? After all, it’s nesting season here in Ohio. I’m sitting with my wife Cathy in the parking lot at the Franklin County Board of Elections, waiting for my appointed time to go inside and receive my second dose of the Moderna vaccine, when a pair of Canada geese waddle by.…

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From Hero to Zero

By Kavin Mistry / February 23, 2021

It was the height of the pandemic, the hospital ICUs were filled with COVID-positive patients, respirators were in short supply, everyone was stuck at home due to the lockdown watching the daily death tolls rise, the Jacob Javits Center in NYC had been converted to a makeshift hospital, and Grubhub couldn’t keep up with the…

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The Gift of Touch

By Steven Kushner / February 19, 2021

Remember that old commercial, “Reach Out and Touch Someone”? How quaint it all seems now. And while we all got the message—that “touching” was a metaphor for being connected—today the absence of touch is emotionally devastating. I am a retired congregational rabbi. For over forty years my life was immersed in the joys and struggles…

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Love in the Time of Covid

By Lauren B. Davis / February 14, 2021

It’s like traveling to a foreign country, where you know absolutely no one, are confused about the customs, and don’t speak the language. If you are a couple, well, here you are, just the two of you (and kids and dogs and cats and Zoom and portents of doom), coming face-to-face with all the things…

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Dance Brought Happiness Back…

By Molly Carpenter / February 7, 2021

I don’t think I really understood how much I loved to dance until the pandemic hit. I had always danced, whether it was in the living room doing interpretive dance to my dad’s CDs as a child or in classes at the rec center. In high school I was on the Hip Hop Team and…

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The Days Gone, the Lives Lost

By Lee Martin / December 31, 2020

When I was a teenager, I had a poster of Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper on their Harleys from the movie, Easy Rider, taped to my bedroom wall. It was the early 1970s, and I lived in a town of one thousand people in rural southeastern Illinois where conservative values held sway. Those values left…

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Aeeeeoooow!

By Leonard Rosen / December 31, 2020

On October 6, 2020, the Swedish Academy announced the year’s Nobel prizes in Physics and, two days later, in Literature. The selection committees may as well have collaborated, so tuned were they to the pulse of a uniquely awful year. Louise Glück, poet of “isolation, betrayal . . . and death” (NYT 10/8/2020), won for…

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Beginning of a 2020 Christmas Letter

By David Norcross / December 30, 2020

(Ed note: This essay was the first part of a letter sent by family friend David Norcross. It was so insightful and entertaining that we asked David’s permission to reprint it on the Lens. Thank you David!)   Christmas 2020 and Other End of Year Musings “And every picture shows a perfect family…” No one…

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