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Laughing in the Dark (Again)

Sometimes “once” just isn’t enough.

Last fall, during a socially distanced writing retreat in Oakwood Lakes State Park, my friend Ruby and I took a short night hike around a wooded peninsula. Without flashlights. Without even a sliver of moon to see by.

This past week, as the leaves began to turn red and gold once again, Ruby and I met up for another writing retreat. This time we camped beside a slough, or big pond, in Lake Herman State Park.

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Refusing to Nest in the Nesting Dolls

Once, returning from a trip abroad, Jihong brought me the gift of a Russian matryoshka set. At first glance, all you see is a wooden doll, around 7” high. It’s painted to resemble a happy peasant woman, with a city scene on her plump belly.

However, if you lift away the top half of the doll, you find a smaller matryoshka hidden inside—the peasant woman’s daughter. Open that second doll, and you find an even smaller daughter. And then another daughter. Finally, at the center, you come to a baby.

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