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Biography

25 things about me
1. I have a secret obsession with celebrity. I often wonder what Angelia and Brad talk about at breakfast, and if they argue over who will give the bath to the children that night.

2. Once, I walked into a meeting that was underway at the Ministry of Education in Kampala, Uganda. There was a long conference table with something like 250 or 1,000 Ugandans, and one white guy. It was love at first sight for me. Now he's my husband and it's still love at every sight and always.

3. There is such imbalance in the world---heat waves in June, animals tortured for eye mascara, double hamburgers for lunch---you know the scene. Maybe, like the Navajo, we can restore harmony and balance a little by chanting the world back to health. I have serious panic attacks about the future.

4. My daughter was born 10.4 pounds and my son was 11lbs. For weeks after watch birth, I waited for someone bearing a trophy to arrive. It never came.

5. We lived in East Africa from 2001-2008. Now we live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. There was an abrupt change of lifestyle.

6. I used to be a freestyle skier. I was not very ambitious. But yes, I jumped and did ballet and moguls.

7. There is a statue of my ancestor Mary Dyer in front of the State House in Boston. (My first name is Mary, after her). She was a Puritan who was hanged on the Boston Common for the crime of being a Quaker. This was after a lot of brave and martyr-ish acts.

8. I'm only at #8?

9. There is a 17 year old cat named Chicken lying by my side. He is divine.

10. I believe in God. I thought I would study the Bible but I am on six committees at the church and it turns out that that is my joy.

11. I am by nature drawn to risk, unstructured, dreamy and lacking boundaries. I have trained myself to be cautious and to avoid drama. Drama still finds me though.

12. Honnnnng-k HONK goes the fire trucks passing below my window as I write. My daughter is in the kitchen with my visiting mother making cupcakes downstairs. I have never been happier in my life.

13. It's scary to be happy because there is the looming threat of losing the happiness. I was not happy for many years and that, in some ways, was easier.

14. And perhaps addictive.

15. When I returned to NYC from E. Africa, and started to attend church, every Sunday I wept at some point during the service. I wept when the children entered in procession; or when the names of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan were read; or when, at the end of the last hymn, three women in the choir suddenly BELTED out the last lines in a sort of angelic, beautiful, lets-go-for-it release. I do love God and believe he resides in every detail of nature and every gesture of every creature. But the tears did subside.

16. I lived in a small interior country in Africa for two years. Though I was happy, I hated the country mostly. It was boring and hot and dumb. Every American should spend two years being bored and hot and dumb and sort of lonely. It taught me to appreciate.

17. The summers in Norway with my in-law family. There is no family like them.

18. Why can't Alice Waters just say that frozen chicken nuggets heated in the microwave are the healthiest thing for children and for the planet? Oh how I dread cooking.

19. I have two brothers. They are stunning. When they walk into a room, everyone turns and sort of melts.

20. Favorite books: THE SUMMER BOOK by Tove Jansson and THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE by Kate DiCamillo.

21. I love seaglass and feathers and jasmine plants and ceremony and Norway and my children. Yes how I love my children!

22. I am pretty clueless about the world and it intricate workings. It can be awkward at dinner parties, but it makes for a thrilling life. I don't get it, so I make it up to suit myself, and so much is always new and weird.

23. I started writing on this blog when I lived in Kenya in 2004. It was to be composed of ruminations on the trials and joys of mothering in a foreign land. As with most blogs, however, hubris got the best of its author. And since then, it's been basically about me.

24. A psychic told me I would live near huge bodies of water someday. Another said that I was about to run wild.

25. Hallelujah. That was fun.