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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Farewell 2020

By Erin Becker / December 30, 2020

A few weeks ago—just after Thanksgiving—I received an unexpected package in the mail from artist/curator Crystalle Lacouture. Contained within was a limited run wood-block print, a directive, and a booklet of matches, all related to a timely project—#farewellgoodbye2020. The message of the letter, which you can read at the link below, was essentially this: 2020…

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Of Covid-19 and Enchiladas

By Annette Libeskind Berkovits / December 21, 2020

Imagine yourself, just for a moment, unable to move your head, arms, or legs. Your speech barely audible. You lie on your bed in a sweat and your breathing is labored. You can’t call out for help. Have you ever had such a nightmare? If you have, you are lucky. It was just a dream. For my…

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Threads of a Christmas Past

By Cynthia Lieberman / December 20, 2020

My mother, Victoria Peabody, was a limitless, influential woman, a maverick in every sense of the word. She carved a long and wide burn mark on this earth as she blazed through life, breaking rules that didn’t even exist and ignoring ones that did but didn’t suit her. In fact, she created and followed her…

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Survivor’s Guilt

By Nancy Werlin / December 12, 2020

Saturday night, March 14, 2020: My husband Jim coughed. Monday morning, March 16, 2020: I coughed. We got tested during the few days in Massachusetts between when Covid-19 testing opened to anybody with suspicious symptoms, and when it slammed shut because tests were in short supply. My test came back positive in two days. Jim’s…

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Signs of Life

By Debra Borden / December 4, 2020

I am not one to notice signs. My friends and colleagues do; a feather on the ground points one towards making a major life decision, or a certain smell means a relative who’s passed is nearby. Me? There could be men from the airport tarmac in orange vests with DayGlo sticks pointing furiously in one…

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Actions Have Consequences

By Yeside Linney / November 29, 2020

The UK is now counting down the days to the biggest fall out in the nation’s history. Not only are we leaving the European Union, but the threat of leaving without a deal is imminent. A “no deal” Brexit does what it says on the tin. It means the UK and the EU are unable…

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The Not-So-Distanced Past

By Jacquelyn Mitchard / November 28, 2020

I spent a recent Saturday in tears. The tears were of both varieties, the happy kind and the sad. I sat in front of my laptop, as my brother and sister-in-law shot me photos and videos from Nashville of the wedding of my only niece. Alyssa was as beautiful as a lily, in her lacy…

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The Magic in a Stranger’s Heart

By Lee Martin / November 23, 2020

Cathy and I, the past few years, have been opening our home on Thanksgiving Day, providing a welcome table to anyone who might need a place to go. Of course, we’re disappointed that the pandemic has made that impossible this year, but our gathering’s loss is a small price to pay for the sake of…

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