Entries by Cynthia Trenshaw


    “Statues” was a game we kids played during recess on the playground. One kid (usually a girl, a bossy “Lucy” type) got to control the action; the rest of us would dance and whirl and act crazy until she shouted “Freeze!” and we’d all stop in mid-action. Whoever wobbled first from their “statue” […]

An Emotion in Search of a Name

  A stoic does not express emotion. A stoic family is mostly expressionless. I was reared in a stoic household: Germanic (on Mom’s side – she referred back only as far as “Pennsylvania Dutch,” because she liked their folk art) and Welsh (on Dad’s side – traced back to the 15th century and Sir Rhys […]

A Most Memorable Meal

  Last week I had one of the most memorable meals of my life. Out of curiosity I’ve searched back through my memory files, and found just a few other such memorable repasts: – A wiener roast on the top of a high snow-covered dune (we called it “Mt. Everest”) on the southern shore of […]

Immersed in the Darkness

This month, when acquaintances and clerks and baristas asked, “Are you doing anything special for the holidays?” I replied, “I’m doing nothing.” If they assumed that that was a sad, or lonesome, or irreligious state, I might add, “I love being in the dark time of year, and I don’t want to lose a moment […]

A Poet’s Field Notes from the Interior

A month ago I went away for a week to do nothing but write poetry. I went prepared, taking with me my poetry “sketchbooks” (ideas for new poems), and potential poetry drafts that I hadn’t nurtured in years, and a few pretty good poems that just needed their “final” polish (note: for a poet, no […]

September Noticings

PLEASE COME ALONG WITH ME on a stroll through this past month, and encounter with me some of what I’ve noticed: • Three new houses are under construction on the short cul de sac on which I live. I watched as the lots were surveyed and marked, and the land was reshaped and remeasured. The […]

Thinking Outside the Retirement Box

Recently I read these numbers in an article in “The Week” magazine: CNBC reports that a day on Princess Cruises costs about $135. A day in a private room of a nursing home costs $253. When you compare the monthly costs, Princess Cruises adds up to about $4,200, and the private room at the nursing home […]

“Give Me That (Very) Old Time Religion”

Twenty-five years ago I was working as a nationally certified hospital chaplain. The work I treasured most was time I spent with dying people, and I wanted to apply for a regional chaplaincy position with Hospice – which required a masters degree that I didn’t have. My husband of 33 years had died several months […]

The Joy of Speaking Poetry

    “Mortal Beings,” my first book of poetry, is now well and truly launched into the world. And I’m even more in love with it than I was when it was first accepted for publication. The launch celebration was held at Enso House, our island’s end-of-life care residence for people with terminal illnesses. There […]