The Crack in the Teacup
Chapter 1

The Glacier Knocks in the Cupboard

My earliest memory is of a shaft of light filled with shining motes, and the sight and sound of a six--inch silver dollar (fake) rolling on its rim across our nursery floor, and of my older sister holding her hands over her ears. She is screaming a high, piercing scream. Mother has come to the doorway.


The year was 1926. Mother was early--on pregnant with my sister Joyce, her third child. I was not quite three. Anne was two years older than I. Pale and feverish, with deep circles under her eyes, she had been in hospital much of her life. With no benefit from antibiotics, she had undergone three mastoid operations. She often suffered excruciating pains in her head and behind her ears. In all innocence I had rummaged in the toy box, had found the souvenir of San Francisco’s United States Mint, and had sent the silver disc on its reverberating course along the path of sunlight. What was music of the spheres for me was agony for Anne.