editor's note

We were driving to a Memorial Day picnic when I heard the helicopter, its blades frantically casting aside the blue midday sky in its quest to rescue a man from the chilly waters of the San Francisco Bay.

I was a woman without a country, having shuttered my former news venture a month earlier. But that did not make me want to know what was happening on the beach that helicopter was hovering so close to any less. “Turn around,” I told my husband, directing him to a parking spot far enough from the police cars on the beach that the kids couldn’t see whatever had brought them all there. I hopped out and slogged across the warm, thick sand.