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Living to write. Writing to connect. Fascinated by details, emotion, and meaning. 13X Top Writer. Founder: Age of Empathy. Open to gigs: aimee@gramblin.com

“Wish You Were Here” — On variations of love, longing, and musical understanding

“Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here Wallpaper” by Scott Clark is licensed under CC BY 2.0

I was born in 1978, but I didn’t grow up consuming Pink Floyd. I didn’t try playing records backward to find secret messages. I didn’t mourn the Pink Floyd shows I never saw. But, Pink Floyd permeated my life anyway, starting when I was about 21 years old, back in the summer of 1999.

My best friend drove her family’s Suburban expertly through the New Mexico mountains as the starry night sky enveloped us. Our second road trip from Norman, Oklahoma to Las Cruces, New Mexico to get tattoos.

On these trips, she ended up with an Oscar the Grouch…


One woman’s reflection on the pandemic times

Middle aged man and woman kneel in a forest floor. The woman holds a bouquet of hand picked flowers. They look calm and happy.
Middle aged man and woman kneel in a forest floor. The woman holds a bouquet of hand picked flowers. They look calm and happy.
Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

At the Botanic Garden where I once worked, mockingbirds kept me company, and the gentle bubbling of water features eased my mind and soul. At the garden, I found a peace and solace I’d been craving ever since giving birth to our first child ten years prior.

My life stalled and then screeched to a halt a couple of months before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the United States, where I live. In late December, my body was screaming at me in pain. It had been trying to get my attention for several years.

At work, I was bent double in…


Another disturbing story of whitewashing and unfair compensation for minority workers

Photograph of the facade of the convenient store, “Kim’s Convenience” for the CBC show by the same name. There is a poster of the Kim family on the side of the store and two signs that say “Kim’s Convenience” in green, white, and blue.
Photograph of the facade of the convenient store, “Kim’s Convenience” for the CBC show by the same name. There is a poster of the Kim family on the side of the store and two signs that say “Kim’s Convenience” in green, white, and blue.
Source: Wikicommons.

“Kim’s Convenience” has been in the news this week, not because its final season was released, but because some of the Korean-Canadian actors finally feel they can express their grievances against the show being racist and non-inclusive.

I didn’t know that until after I binged Season 5 on Netflix. In case you aren’t familiar with the show, it was a short (25ish minute per episode) sitcom/romcom, which followed the quirky Korean-Canadian Kim family who ran a quaint store called “Kim’s Convenience.” …


A garden metaphor poem

Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

The garden flops
grows wild like
matted weeds
tangled hair

I planted potatoes
too late
harvested them
too early

barely-bites
for any of us.

When I harvested
the potatoes
too early
I disturbed the snow peas.

Green snap of sweet crunch
garden delight.
I bit into the crisp flesh
and tasted the sweet
fleshy popping of green peas.

A treat so sweet
I ate them in the garden
didn’t even share
until I uprooted the sweet plant
and it browned and died
and there were no more
sweet snap peas to eat.

I overplanted my raised
metal garden container:
tomatoes, salvia, peas
parsley…


My poetic retort to our children who say there’s no such thing as a sugar high

An half watermelon setting on green grass. One spoon is in the red flesh. Another spoon lays beside the watermelon. There are black seeds in the watermelon.
An half watermelon setting on green grass. One spoon is in the red flesh. Another spoon lays beside the watermelon. There are black seeds in the watermelon.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Falling asleep in the
cradle of our queen-sized bed
there’s a distant muffled
sky rumble

our dog in the backyard
midnight melon high
but we don’t know yet

yapyapyapyapyap
scurry and scat and scuttle
the high-pitched whine
of a chihuahua on a mission

a closer rumble from
my sleepy husband

What’s wrong with your dog

He doesn’t feel the pull
to animals that I do
our children do

To him they’re inconvenience
nuisance annoyance

Our dog has been circling
whining at the backdoor
running from room to room
tossing toys in the air
like a show seal
for hours and hours and…


What I’ve learned from years of living with unidentified chronic pain

Photo by Ivan Oboleninov from Pexels

I’m sleeping and feel the sharp sting, the acute pinpoint pain grabbing my right hip bone.

On my back, I lay and lean into this sleepy wisdom — we all have pain — every single one of us humans.

It may be heart-sting or a bruised ego or a bruised body. We all have pain.

I turn 43 years old this summer. For years my back would hurt so bad people could read on my face something was wrong. They’d say, “Aimée, are you okay?” I’d rub my lower back, which felt on fire with pain, and say, “Yes, I’m…


WAHHHHHH! Life’s Not Fair

Like, What the F*ck?!

Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels

Let me start by informing you of a basic truth: Life’s not fair. Life’s not fair. Life’s not fair. We navigate our merciless lives, and then we die.

Kids figure out quite early on that life’s not fair, and when they ask why, parents return the sage answer, “Because. Get used to it.”

We don’t ask to be born. Well, that’s debatable, but let’s just say we don’t ask to be born. And, we don’t ask to grow up.

When I was my daughter’s age — yes, I’m doing that — when I was ten years old, life moved painfully…


Sometimes that creates heartache and it’s worth it.

Source: Deposit Photos.

Ain’t love funny?
Ain’t love strange?
I say love is a dangerous game
Shows no mercy
It has no rules
It’s all the same for the kings and fools

These are the honest opening lyrics to a folksy Guy Clarke love song called “Hell Bent on a Heartache.” Just like everyone poops, no one is immune to love — not actors, musicians, kings, or fools. And, across the spectrum of romantic love, there are many nuances.

Emotional intimacy is a popular topic and one that Carolyn Riker writes about often. …


And Eddie Vedder’s 1992 MTV Unplugged performance enhances the lustful eroticism of the song

Eddie Vedder, 1992 MTV Unplugged “Black” performance. Source: YouTube Screenshot.

Rob Janicke, Riff co-editor, recently wrote about Pearl Jam’s sophomore album, Vs., which inspired me to give Pearl Jam’s debut album, Ten. As I was listening to Ten on Spotify and thinking about the conversation The Riff founder, Noah Levy, Rob, and I had on The Riff podcast (episode upcoming), I messaged Rob and told him I think “Black” is one of the sexiest songs I’ve ever heard.

He agreed and suggested I watch Eddie Vedder’s performance of the song “Black” on MTV Unplugged, recorded in New York City in 1992, to see the the band’s sensual performance of “Black,”…

Aimée Gramblin

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