Rereading a 25-year-old piece that I once considered my best.

This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them.

photo by author

My father died on Thanksgiving night. As I sat with family and friends over the next few days, my grief and sense of disbelief barely lessened.

Finally, to stave off my sadness, I got busy. My sister had helped my father move into his last apartment, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, when his health began to fail; now, we agreed…


First Year Navigation Links: A Work in Progress

I have been writing for nearly half a century…


Every writer on Medium, from novice to pro, has her own path — this might help you find yours.

Photo by Ovan on Pixabay

I’ve been feeling my way around Medium, trying to understand its customs and culture since April when I published my first piece. I am a stranger in a strange land, late of the planet Old School. I’ve won awards for my writing. But, here, I am a novice, desperate to grok this community and the landscape it inhabits.

Grok means “to understand,” of course, but Dr. Mahmoud, who might be termed the leading Terran expert on Martians, explains that it also means, “to drink” and “a hundred other English words, words which we think of as antithetical concepts. ‘Grok’ means…


Thank you, Marsha. I just saw this. I'm not very organized when it comes to following comments and response--though I love both!

Tears is the highest compliment a piece of writing can get. I know how hard it is to clear out. I wrote about it here, too!

https://medium.com/illumination-curated/how-to-get-rid-of-your-stuff-d56e3199f49c


Why Would A Platform That Champions Writers Exclude Anyone, Especially Seasoned Pros

Photo by Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash

After writing for Medium this past year, I received an email on April 19th and a follow-up reminder on 23rd, asking me to participate in a survey that would help make Medium “a better place” for writers. Little did I suspect that the author of that email didn’t mean me.


For Those Who Asked

All Photos: Author

Dateline: Paris. Against the backdrop — and in spite of — COVID, spring has arrived, inspiring thoughts of the future.

I have spent four months — to the day — experiencing the pandemic in Paris. Everyone at home asks, “How is it?”

December 31, 2020, at 11:50 pm, I take a half-block walk with my partner and dog to the Champs de Mars where we watch the Eiffel Tower’s year-end light show. Since then, I have been home every night by six pm-now seven, thanks to daylight savings.

At this writing, only 6.8% of the French are fully vaccinated. In the U.S., it’s 26%; in Israel-the frontrunner-it’s 56%. In the UK, where about half the population has had a first…


A Lament About “Tech-competence”

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

ATTENTION, PLEASE: “@Melinblau” — Medium’s former ID for me — Melinda Blau — whose work you read and hopefully enjoyed is gone. From now on…

Please look for me on Medium as Melinda Blau.

@MelindaBlau

Sorry! When I signed up for Medium, I didn’t pay enough attention to “user name.”

I actually didn’t pay any attention.

It was enough that I was signing up.

Full Disclosure: I am not a digital native — not by a long shot. I have just so much tolerance for new tech.

As it was, I didn’t even know what to call Medium —a website? writing software? a platform? — nor what to expect. Accordingly, I never even considered — or noticed — that “they” gave me a different writer/user name.”

How Could That Happen?

Especially in retrospect, it’s shocking. This is my name we’re talking about, my identity as a writer.

I use “melinblau” as an ID. It was my first email address back in…


The Delightful But Awful Pangs Of Human Molting

I first used the term “human molting” in 2015 to describe my experience of getting rid of “stuff.” A luxury problem, to be sure. Turns out, it’s still an issue, thanks to COVID.

The whole world is selling and moving to the country, which means we empty nesters have to move on.

The above text from a women in Westchester, a suburb of New York, inspired me to republish this piece. She is thinking of selling, but the idea overwhelms her. Human molting is never easy.

Below is the 2015 version, essentially unchanged. However, I toyed with the title, relocated…


Thank you for including my piece. It's an honor to be among such wonderful writers


A Story About Creativity, Connection — and Hope

Photo: Helen Maybanks

On April 2, a dramatic adaptation of the bestselling novel Blindness opened at the Daryl Roth Theater. It marks the first reopening of a commercial venue, on or off Broadway, since New York City went dark last March 12.

If a performance venue can be tailored to put post-pandemic audiences at ease, that’s reason enough for celebration. Art and theater enrich the universe.

Not so incidentally, the producer and the theater-cleanser in this story happen to be two of my close friends from college. We’ve followed each others’ adult lives and stayed connected since the mid-sixties. …

Melinda Blau

Author of 15 books and over 200 articles and posts, here I specialize in short reads — on relationships, social trends and my adventures in Paris.

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