The Pandemic Shoved Me Off the Stage. Then Aretha Franklin Opened My Eyes

When Live Theater Went Dark, an Actor Sought Comfort and Found Grace Instead

The other day I was watching the Aretha Franklin documentary Amazing Grace, which was filmed while she was recording her album of the same name at church in downtown L.A. in 1972. The movie’s climax comes when 29-year-old Aretha performs her rendition of the title track, “Amazing Grace.” As soon as she started singing, I started weeping. By the time she got to the line “Was blind, but now I see,” I was experiencing full body chills.

I couldn’t stop crying. God, I prayed, I need a break, I need a …

Will Holograms Help Us Grieve? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Will Holograms Help Us Grieve?

Ready or Not, Digital Afterlives Are Here to Stay

Long before Kim Kardashian West made headlines for being gifted a hologram of her deceased father for her 40th birthday, a panel session at South by Southwest Interactive, an annual …

The Anticipatory Grief of Living Through a Pandemic | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Anticipatory Grief of Living Through a Pandemic

The Great Believers, a Novel of the AIDS Crisis, Reminds Us That ‘We Are the Memory-Keepers of This Moment’

To be a survivor of wars, of diseases, of earth-shattering moments is to be an inheritor. You inherit the grief that comes with loss; but you also inherit the memories, …

Where I Go: The Garden Library I Grow | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: The Garden Library I Grow

Before I Plant, I Curl up With My Favorite Ecologists, Journalists, and Victorian Naturalists

My gardening habit was born on the day my mother died. Grief-stricken beyond belief, and thinking that her boundless spirit might linger still in the sun-loving plants she had long …

When You Live Online, Will Anyone Know When You Die?

Public Grieving on Social Media Hides a Darker Private Reality

I suspected that something was wrong on the Sunday morning when I saw the beginning of a Facebook post in my newsfeed sidebar that said, in French, “Our dear AJ …

Brooding Grief

A yellow leaf from the darkness
Hops like a frog before me.
Why should I start and stand still?

I was watching the woman that bore me
Stretched in the brindled …