Dear Ms. Steinem and Ms. Jong

What I love most

about you


you did not die.


I would think

that the world has had enough

of great women who

do a Joan of Arc

or a Virginia Woolf (ditto for Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton)


or an Elizabeth I  (virgin)

or a Mary Magdalene (doomed to be Jesus’  whore)

or a Boedicca (killed by Romans)

or an Anne Frank (yup she’s a kid but still female!)

or an Isadora Wing (fictional)

(I wouldn’t have included them, but they are dead)


I do not care for mothers

who leave their daughters

long before

we are ready

for you to go.

Why can't it always be like this? Pieta by Bellini. From Wikipedia.

Why can’t it always be like this?
Pieta by Bellini. From Wikipedia.



    1. It’s 6 am and your reply just made me think.

      The rational part of my brain cells are still snoozy (they often are before caffeine) so here’s what I feel: I try (to have a conscience) … I try as often as I can … as much as I can … sometimes I try so hard it’s over-acting … but as god is my witness … I tried … and that is the best I could do.


  1. Dear Denise,

    I feel for your loss.

    Your words, ” devastated, heartbroken, terrified, none of which comes close to describing what I really felt. It’s just the best I can do at the moment.” — best describe what I felt when my mom died.

    I liked the rest of your words too; so I copy/pasted them in here (if you don’t mind):

    “And in my devastation, the “Who am I?” and “What am I here for?” quest that drove so much of my life ended. The essential question, the one that seems without the answer I’m so desperate to find, is, “How do I live in the face of death? How do I make meaning in the aftermath of the unthinkable?”

    For this there is no one answer; there is no one meaning. The first and obvious thing was (is, and will always be) Natalie, my daughter. For the rest of it, I just don’t know. Most of the time I can’t even imagine. What if I could do anything, anything at all, I ask? What does it matter, if this is how life feels, I answer. But someone recently quoted Joan Didion, who said, “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking…what I see and what it means.” And that just made some damn good sense.”

    What can I say? Nothing.

    Maybe, thank you? Your words bring me great comfort.


      1. Sex and men? What’s that? Oh wait; I think I remember…I mean, I must’ve done it at least twice, no?

        Thanks for the smile, you’re a funny/serious girl (and I mean “girl” in the best and tender sense). If you took comfort from anything I said, I’m honored. Philip might’ve died, but he’s now become my muse.

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