The Middle Distance 1.18.13: The Only Possible Grace
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My friend Cate said she squirmed through the first half of Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen’s comedy film The Guilt Trip, seeing a bit too much of herself in Streisand’s character, Joyce, an unrelentingly overbearing Jewish […]

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The Middle Distance 1.11.13: All The Light We Used to Have
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Nearly every wall of my mother’s house is lined with tables, bookcases, or a chest with drawers. And every time I come for a stay, I go through all of those drawers, one at a […]

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The Middle Distance 1.4.13: Blue Nights
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Here is an African proverb that showed up in my email inbox on December 31: “Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty […]

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The Middle Distance 12.21.12: Reweaving the Social Fabric
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This week’s mini-blizzard provided respite I’d been hoping for — no appointments, too cold to even think of going outside voluntarily, and streets packed with snow. I stayed in with the dogs, reading and cleaning and […]

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The Middle Distance 12/14/12
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Last night on a downtown street, someone busted out the front passenger window of my car to dig around inside it. Whoever it was — a passerby who, conveniently, had a brick or a big rock in his hand […]

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The Middle Distance 12.7.12: The Image Becomes a Phantom
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In her treatise on photography, Susan Sontag said, “Today everything exists to end in a photograph.” Witness any public event in the 21st century, crowd members’ arms extended outward with smartphones pointed in every direction and understand […]

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The Middle Distance 11.30.12: Unknown Woman
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She resides in a painting — a simple stretched canvas, unframed — emerging from a slate blue background, her hair and dress the same silver-gray. Her breasts sag low, as if from the natural weight of years.

She hung in […]

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The Middle Distance 11.16.12: The Scent of Smoke
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It is nearly Thanksgiving and in the early mornings my turn-of-the-20th century neighborhood smells like wood smoke. Nights are cold, the neighbors cranking up their fireplaces and wood stoves. A deadly summer wildfire season has put […]

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The Middle Distance 11.9.12: “Honey, It’s Jest Foo-ood”
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In a parallel life, I think I might have been a cafeteria lady, baking industrial sized trays of yeast rolls every morning in a stainless steel kitchen, ladeling out clouds of mashed potatoes and smothering them […]

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn wonders where to best place her worry during the Frankenstorm.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn embraces the obsessive mathematics of aging.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn tugs at the long tail of gun violence and its current literature.

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In this week’s Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn ruminates on the struggle for faith.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn gathers seeds from her garden and remembers the autumn of her twins’ birth.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn celebrates locavore and farmer Dan Hobbs on the occasion of his Palmer Land Trust Conservation Award.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn sees her late sister through the eyes of a ghost costume.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn walks back into her second grade classroom.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn unearths a moment in civil rights history that happened right under her nose.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn looks through the blurry lens of a toy camera into the past.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn stares into the eyes of a toothless flasher in a dirty raincoat.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn spreads her toes across years of shoeless memories.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn ties two summer films together with the unlikely string of far-fetched fantasy.

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(Cybil Shepherd, center, after winning the Miss Teenage Mephmis Pageant in 1966)

The Middle Distance 8.5.11: What Was I Thinking?
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What was I thinking? I was 15 years old and had moved with my family from the small town of Jackson to the […]

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News

October 1, 2016 | NPR · With wind speeds of 160 mph, forecasters project the storm to make landfall on Jamaica on Monday, and remains a threat to Haiti and Cuba. It’s the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic since 2007.
 

September 30, 2016 | NPR · Congress has reversed a law passed in 1992 that prohibited the Department of Veterans Affairs from paying for IVF for veterans and their families, after mounting political pressure.
 

AP
September 30, 2016 | NPR · The U.N. is planning to send its first spacecraft into orbit, packed with scientific experiments from countries that can’t afford their own space programs.
 

Arts & Life

September 30, 2016 | NPR · Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood knows tough times. A single mom at 17 who once worked at a French fry factory to make ends meet is Hollywood royalty today. A favorite of director Tim Burton, Atwood is now costume designer for his adaptation of the darkly comic, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children and the upcoming Harry Potter prequel, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
 

Courtesy of Lionsgate
September 30, 2016 | NPR · Deepwater Horizon is the tense and terse story of the Gulf oil rig explosion that became the biggest man-made ecological disaster in history.
 

Copyright Ellen Silverman
September 30, 2016 | NPR · Matzo ball soup is a classic straight from Eastern Europe. But not all Jews from the region came to the New World via Ellis Island, as this jalapeño-inflected recipe reflects.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
September 30, 2016 | NPR · The award-winning conductor, pianist and composer performs “Fascinating Rhythm” and other standards with Marian McPartland.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 30, 2016 | NPR · 22, A Million is a radical — but logical — departure from Justin Vernon’s past work. Music critic Will Hermes thinks it’s the most compelling record he’s heard all year.
 

Getty Images
September 30, 2016 | NPR · In times of drought — like now — two neighboring states argue over rights to the Cauvery River’s water. A musician wrote a song about what the river thinks of all this.
 

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