Powers of Attraction
By Margaret I. Whitford
My parents last saw each other the day my father departed for New Orleans, where he was to attend a meeting of the American Association of Tissue Banks, an organization he had helped create.
By then, they were effectively, if not legally, separated, though my father often stopped by unannounced.
He would have called to her when he arrived, “Lodestone, where are you?” I picture him standing in the foyer, his gaze focused on the stairs to the second floor. He would have kept calling until he found her, or she responded. As an adolescent, I thought the nickname meant a dead weight, something you would want to escape. When I asked my mother about the name, she told me that a lodestone was a magnetic mineral, believed by some to possess magical qualities of attraction.
I think of both interpretations as metaphors for my parents’ relationship.
About the Author
Margaret L. Whitford has a background in communitydevelopment finance and organizational development. After earning an MBA at The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, she spent twenty years in the nonprofit field before returning to graduate school for an MFA in creative writing. Her essays have appeared in the anthology Good Dogs Doing Good, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, The Fourth River, and Brevity. She is the co-editor of the anthology, Between Song and Story: Essays for the Twenty-first Century