A wistful and welcoming look at life’s ordinary moments.
Here is where I explore the little things, the small moments that make up a life—and that reflect our shared humanity. In ‘seeking the story in the ordinary’—the world just beyond our front door, a long walk in late afternoon light, the first sips of a hot cup of coffee, the feel of a child’s hand in yours, the kindness of a stranger who lets you change lanes—I hope to call attention to the commonplace and the common strand that runs through us all. What we share is far more, and far more beautiful, than what sets us apart. We all may be a bit uncertain as we walk through this life, but it steadies us to remember we tread on common ground.
This site should serve as a faraway friend whose simple presence out in the ether is reassuring. Where you can find comfort amid the questioning. Meaning and memory in the mundane. I hope you will read my words, look at my little life, see yourself there, and feel less alone.
Thank you for stopping by.
I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
We write by the light of every story we have ever read.
– Richard Peck
It is nearly impossible to hate anyone whose story you know.
– Andrew Solomon
You cannot meet someone for a moment, or even cast eyes on someone in the street, without changing. That is my subject.
– Carolyn Kizer
I love how Twitter is making the world smaller. You can connect with me there @DinaLRelles.
You can check out my work elsewhere at any of these sites:
Brain, Child Magazine,
Brevity’s Nonfiction Blog,
Full Grown People,
The Huffington Post,
STIR Journal, and
The Washington Post.
Or simply stay here, make yourself comfortable in my little corner of cyberspace, and poke around for as long as you like.
I’m glad you found me. And I hope you’ll find something of yourself in this Commonplace.
I’m a mother of four, lapsed lawyer, writer, editor, caffeine addict, and general Northeasterner. After practicing law for the better part of a decade, I recently stopped to spend more time with my children. Now you can find me reading and writing in the crevices of my day, around the edges of a life filled with little ones and little time. I’m setting out to try to live deliberately and make the world a little smaller. I write to seek the story in the ordinary, find the meaning in the mess. And to take comfort in the commonality of it all–we’re all in our own homes, going about our separate, solitary lives, but maybe, just maybe you’ve felt this way too? You’re out there walking alongside me, even from many miles away? Even if we’ve never met?
A Bit More About Me…
I’m a former litigator.
I’m a city girl.
Who longs to be a country mouse.
I’m a people-watcher.
You can find me on my front stoop.
I bite my nails.
But I’ve been trying to stop. For 20 years.
My life doesn’t work without coffee.
Plain, black. Ok, maybe a teaspoon of sugar.
I love falling asleep to street noise.
…when I can fall asleep.
The Little Prince is my favorite book.
Also Skinny Legs and All.
I would be lost without my To Do List.
But I have a love/hate relationship with it.
I love everything about autumn.
My closest friends are from summer camp.
My husband is too.
I’ve been in love with R.E.M. since I was 9.
I once went on a road trip to Athens, GA to meet Michael Stipe.
I don’t enjoy cooking or eating.
I just do it to stave off hunger.
But I always miss them when they’re gone.
I could wear a different gray hoodie for each day of the week.
I’m a killer skier.
Wistful and irreverent.
All at once.
I love public transportation.
Except when I’m running late for a train.
I’m a big proponent of day care.
It’s like a built-in community of people who “get you” and love, and help you raise, your children.
I love everything about the early morning.
The peace and quiet. The possibility. The productivity. The coffee. The fact that my kids are all here. But that they’re asleep. Did I mention the coffee?