What’s the Cost of a Family Secret?

A California Writer on the Aunt He Never Knew He Had—and the Lessons She Taught Him

Is there a family trait more common than keeping secrets?

These secrets can have hidden costs. When we leave a place or person behind, we don’t know what becomes of them. We miss out. We cut them out of our familial history.

These secrets can even make us miss the entire life of a loved one—a burrowed family secret, not passed down, and brought to light only in late harvest.

That’s one lesson of the most thought-provoking California story I’ve come across in years. It’s told with heart and heightened imagination by David …

Where I Go: My Teacher, the Tomato

How This Beautiful Plant and Its Magic Fruit Guides a Professional Chef in the Kitchen, and in Life

Food can connect us to the earth, our community, and ourselves. But first, we need to open a space to listen to and be in exchange with the ingredients.

As a …

My Work as an In-Home Caregiver Shouldn’t Be This Hard | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

My Work as an In-Home Caregiver Shouldn’t Be This Hard

Minimum Wage, Unpaid Hours, Tricky Client Dynamics, and No Outside Support Sometimes Make This the Worst Job I’ve Ever Had

As one of the over 550,000 caregivers in the state’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) programs, I am part of a big system that keeps 650,000 disabled, blind, or elderly Californians …

In Praise of a Disunited States of America

The Nation Could Use More Declarations of Independence, and California Should Take the Lead

The further I drove into Oroville, the more disappointment I felt.

I had my passport with me, but no one asked me to show it. American flags still hung from stores …

Yes, Prop. 13 Is Racist

The Infamous Tax Policy Disproportionately Benefits Older, Wealthier, Whiter Californians—But We Could Change That

To most, tax policy is boring—somewhere between the weather and cryptocurrencies. I study, teach, and write about taxes, mostly because I believe they are the price we pay for civilized …