A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Spin Doctoring

Recently I've been writing articles for an online site still in beta version. It's all about divorce: all divorce, all the time. Except for the fact that I have to use AP style, which I dislike, I'm having a good time. I've contributed an article on older couples forced to divorce in order to qualify for medical benefits, and another on the teams of experts (lawyers, financial planners, and therapists) which are a feature of collaborative divorce law.

Right now I'm struggling with an article on African-American divorce. Is it harder for African-Americans to get back on track financially after a divorce? What do the numbers say? That's the topic as proposed to me by the editor.

I was talking to a friend of mine about this article the other day. She's divorced herself. We agreed that finding a person willing to speak with a journalist about his or her experiences, knowing they'd be splashed online, would be difficult. Changing or eliminating the names, of course, is an option. Her own story, in fact, is illustrative--she's African-American and divorced. Before her divorce, she was okay financially. After the divorce, she struggled badly. She raised her son alone, and never got any child support. The boy is a grown man now, and she's still poor.

That would be a great illustration, except for one thing. I'm not African-American and I'm divorced. Before my divorce, I was okay financially. After I left my husband, I struggled badly. The two boys stayed with me. They're grown now, and I'm still poor.

Long story short: I still don't have a hook.