Entries by Cynthia Trenshaw

Butterfly Soup

Did you think this would be a children’s illustrated story of an orange-and-black winged creature, perhaps wearing a little apron, stirring a pot of chowder? No, this is not that tale. Did you imagine six delicate legs, and a spiral proboscis touching lightly on the surface of a sweet creamy bisque? No, not that either. […]

A Tale of Hope

Once upon a time there was a little girl who was afraid of almost everything: bugs that flew, caterpillars that crawled, lightning that flashed, winds that blew, dogs that barked, rumors of robbers, sirens that screamed in the night, vegetables that looked unfamiliar, people that spoke with difficult accents. In tears she often ran to […]

An Amendment with a Catch

Did you ever wonder about where our one-hundred billion dollar prison industry had its beginnings, and why it so disproportionally confines people of color? For starters, look no further than the Thirteenth Amendment to The Constitution of the United States. Go ahead. Look it up on Google. Read the whole Amendment. I’ll wait here while […]

In Praise of Anchorites

The coronavirus pandemic has sent journalists, medical personnel, and politicians scrambling to their thesauruses (thesauri?) for synonyms often found in monastic lexicons. We’ve been advised to remain “sequestered,” “isolated,” “withdrawn,” “secluded,” “disengaged,” and even “cloistered.” It’s the phrase “locked down” that reminds me of the monastics of the Middle Ages who were called anchorites. An […]

Little Wonderings

“Hmm…” was the clue for 6-Across in a recent L.A. Times Sunday crossword puzzle. 6-Across had seven squares, so I filled in “IWONDER.” Which sent me down a rabbit hole of several things I’ve been wondering about lately, in this time of pandemic and quarantine. I wonder if the companies that make the brass fittings […]

“Statues”

    “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 […]