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So glad this old favourite made it to number one in this list. 

“Raising a teenage daughter” by Elizabeth Weil with comments and corrections by her daughter, Hannah W Duane in The California Sunday Magazine.

The one you love is sick

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Photo and words by Flannery O’Kafka. Flannery is one of the best photographers of motherhood around.

That it altered me

That I Saw the Light on Nonotuck Avenue
That every musical note is a flame, native in its own tongue.

That between bread and ash there is fire.

That the day swells and crests.

That I found myself born into it with sirens and trucks going by
out here in a poem.

That there are other things that go into poems like the pigeon,
cobalt, dirty windows, sun.

That I have seen skin in marble, eye in stone.

That the information I carry is mostly bacterial.

That I am a host.

That the ghost of the text is unknown.

That I live near an Air Force base and the sound in the sky is death.

That sound like old poetry can kill us.

That there are small things in the poem: paper clips, gauze, tater
tots, and knives.

That there can also be emptiness fanning out into breakfast rolls,
macadam, stars.

That I am hungry.

That I seek knowledge of the ancient sycamore that also lives in
the valley where I live.

That I call to it.

That there are airships overhead.

That I live alone in my head out here in a poem near a magical
tree.

That I saw the light on Nonotuck Avenue and heard the cry of a
dove recede into a rustle.

That its cry was quiet light falling into a coffin.

That it altered me.

That today the river is a camera obscura, bending trees.

That I sing this of metallic shimmer, sing the sky, the song, all of
it and wonder if I am dying would you come back for me?

– Peter Gizzi

About 70 homeless people were quietly sleeping in pews at the back of the church, as they are allowed to do every weekday morning, with worshippers praying harmoniously in front of them. The church welcomes them in as part of the Catholic concept of extending the helping hand.

“I found the church surprisingly uplifting,” Alston said. “It was such a simple scene and such an obvious idea. It struck me – Christianity, what the hell is it about if it’s not this?”

It was a rare drop of altruism on the west coast, competing against a sea of hostility. More than 500 anti-homeless laws have been passed in Californian cities in recent years. At a federal level, Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon who Donald Trump appointed US housing secretary, is decimating government spending on affordable housing.

Perhaps the most telling detail: apart from St Boniface and its sister church, no other place of worship in San Francisco welcomes homeless people. In fact, many have begun, even at this season of goodwill, to lock their doors to all comers simply so as to exclude homeless people.

As Tiny Gray-Garcia, herself on the streets, described it to Alston, there is a prevailing attitude that she and her peers have to contend with every day. She called it the “violence of looking away”.

This excerpt doesn’t do the piece justice. It is required reading. “A journey through a land of extreme poverty: welcome to America” by Ed Pilkington in The Guardian. 

This is the most disturbing case I have ever read about sexting, and about the vulnerability of young people when police powers combine dangerously with the increasing power of technology.

“A teen sexting case revealed how judges let police invade children’s privacy” by Jay Schweikert in NBC News. 

Now, nine months on, my father has bouts of inertia, bouts of reluctant acceptance, and bouts of dotty but clear-eyed humour and calm, as he sits in his large room in his own recliner, with his pictures on the walls and his books on the shelf. He has lost all sense of the passing of time: everything and everyone that he still remembers – all the people, places, dogs and cats, dead or alive, near or far – seem to coexist for him in some perpetual Now. Occasionally he has no idea where he is, and gets volcanically angry when told that this is his room and he has been living in it for nine months. “Bullshit !” he yells, brandishing his stick. Once or twice I have feared that he was going to hit me. Another, darker fear I have is that, if he did hit me, the red mist would descend and I would hit him back. I am my father’s daughter, after all.

When I visit, two or three times a week, I pause at the front door and take a breath to face the possibilities of what I might find when I walk into his room, the possibilities of what I might have to do. I might have to calm him down, or clean him up, or close his eyes.

You should really read this. It’s “The limit of the world,” the Horne Prize winning essay by Kerryn Goldsworthy in the Saturday Paper.