Author Archives: slcantwell25

About slcantwell25

A writer focused on the transforming power of memory, autism, parenting, and the ways we know what we know.

The Sorrows of Physicist Max Planck

Consider for a moment the sorrows of Max Planck, the theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory. In 1909, his wife, Marie Merck, died of tuberculosis. In 1914, his son, Erwin, was taken prisoner by the French during the First World … Continue reading

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being

At a recent library sale, I paid twenty-five cents for a new paperback copy of Milan Kundera’s novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being to replace the dog-eared, yellowing copy I’ve had for 35 years. Still, I find it hard to … Continue reading

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Young Iranians and Americans at Twenty

On November 4, 1979 radical Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, capturing 66 hostages who would not be free for 444 days. I was a Mormon missionary in New Mexico at the time. Twenty years old. This ominous … Continue reading

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Night Sky

To calm myself, I need only two words: night sky. If I could, I would drink in the sky. I would breathe in the moon and stars.

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Man at the Fire

We shared a birthday, my father and I, July twenty-fifth (1933 and 1959 respectively), and often celebrated with a trip to the Oregon coast. Just the two of us. We’d drive out from Portland on a Friday evening after dad … Continue reading

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The Invisible Salman Rushdie

One could argue the death threat Salman Rushdie received from Ayatollah Khomeini for writing The Satanic Verses ranks among the worst rejections in literary history. Fueled by Khomeini’s fatwa, or edict, Rushdie’s enemies not only banned and burned his book, … Continue reading

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Ninety-six Hours in Toronto, June 2003

Not so brief introductory confession and apology I keep travel notebooks, always have—writing more in three or four days than I write in six months at home. Being in motion lights me up. I have notebooks for Hong Kong, New Orleans, … Continue reading

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