Sunday, April 18, 2021

Pia de Jong

Pia de Jong is a Dutch writer who lives in Princeton. Her memoir, “Saving Charlotte,” was published by W.W. Norton in 2017. She can be contacted at pdejong@ias.edu.

A Change of Habits

I am no longer the same as I was before the pandemic. I can’t just pick up my old life, pretend there’s not a half-year gap. Social contact, I read, is one of the most complicated things for our brain.

The Nativity Scene on Nightingale Street

This Christmas, in a year that took so many magical rituals from us, I think back to my “Grandpa and Grandma Amsterdam,” as we called them, living in their upstairs apartment on the Nachtegaalstraat — or Nightingale Street.

My Brilliant Friend

He was sitting on a metal heating grid on the lawn next to the Graduate College. A squirrel. A fat squirrel, I must say. A squirrel on steroids, with a huge pot belly.

Lightness of Being

My news diet changed during the Trump administration. And then I found poetry.

Where Have All the Foxes Gone?

In April I saw my first fox trotting in front of Nassau Hall. In June I saw a coyote, playing close to a deer family. But at last, the student have returned, and the animals hide themselves again.

These Vagabond Shoes

Covid stopped us for almost a year from crossing the Hudson, but now it was time for a dose of Gotham.

A Life to Dance For

‘I have only one lesson,’ Roger Berlind told a group of Prince­ton students. ‘Follow your intuition. Do what your heart says.’

The Son Also Rises

When my children were much younger, I sometimes burst into tears realizing that one day they would not be permanently around me anymore. Now I realize children need to leave the nest when they are ready.