Defcon 3 in Germany

“You can’t leave the building,” Jimmy said. “The whole base is on lockdown. We’re at Defcon Three. The planes are on the tarmac. Our nukes are armed and we’re ready to go at it with the Ruskies–they’re helping the Arabs and Nixon wants them to back off.” He sighed. “Can you fucking believe it? We haven’t been on this high alert since the Cuban Missile Crisis.”

“Holy fucking shit!”

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Biking to Baja

Today is the fiftieth day since I set out on the bike from my house in Lake Tahoe. I feel the hot desert sun on every inch of my body, and I suddenly realize how thirsty I am. Take me home, I whimper to the Travel Gods. But where is that? I’m still not sure.

What I do know is that I am hours away from any help. I am running low on water, and my 100-pound body is an easy snack for a predator, though there’s no longer much meat on it.

“You need to keep going,” says a voice out of nowhere. I tell the voice, “Go to hell!”

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Self-defense in Sarajevo

I was asked to teach self-defense to the volunteers who worked at a local community Center. Fights were common between overburdened migrants and refugees and a few women voiced concerns for their safety. After a while, I began to teach self-defense to women in the refugee camp too. The night before my first class, I wondered, would I be doing more harm than good by teaching Muslim women how to kick ass?

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The Soul of Washington

As the nation absorbs gripping accounts from lawmakers who sheltered within the U.S. Capitol during the riot, and from the Capitol Police—a lingering trauma remains. If there is a redemptive dimension to this tragedy, it may be that it has brought home the city’s significance in our collective American story.

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Sheltering in Place on Rhodes

Slowly, the story our lives emerged. We’d each left home at a young age to escape convention—she left a village in Sweden for a Greek adventure, and I left a small southern town to pursue my writing in New York. Now here we were two independent women in their 70s, wondering about our final acts.

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