Digging Those Blades Into The Ice, Sometimes Solo

It’s the New Year, so will it be the New You? Sounds like too tall an order, probably. A better bet will most likely be nourishing our own sense of at-home-ness within ourselves. Sure, we can and probably should do some minor repairs, address our flaws, try to meet a higher standard; but essentially, we’re stuck with our very own personhood. Can we think of new ways to flourish, sometimes depending on not another soul? It’s here that I’ll make … Read More

Giving Us a Lift in February

It’s definitely not just another ho-hum weekend, because the amazing discovery of the Trappist-1 cluster — a bunch of new planets circling a kind of sun, out there just a hop, skip and a jump away from us– means we are now on alert for possible news of life elsewhere in the universe. This is big, possibly mind-blowing. Depending on how the story unfolds, we could have some major adjusting to do about our human identity, our various belief systems, … Read More

On Super Bowl Sunday, Mind Your Soup

On Super Bowl Sunday, or on any other day for that matter, do you prefer to keep politics, religion and sports separate — like food items not touching on a plate—or do you like the mélange of tastes that comes when they’re all swirling around together? Seems to me that there are really good kinds of soups, the broth-based ones with wholesome ingredients that bring comfort on cold days; and then the other kind that could, with the right ingredients … Read More

October Devotion

It’s October, the Red Sox are in the playoffs, Big Papi is heading out in a blaze of glory. What better time to reflect on the amazing and occasionally incongruous proximity, at least some of the time, between sports and religion? Any thinking person knows that one realm—the one containing huge stadiums, celebrity players, non-stop action, winners and losers, fans who go crazy for their teams, huge sums of money— is completely different from the other, sacred one. And yet, … Read More

Degrees of Sorriness

I’m sorry this blog is late, but I’ve been kind of stuck on how one person’s “I’m sorry” can be practically a different species from someone else’s. There’s a whole spectrum of regret out there, especially this summer. Here’s a contrast for you. In this corner, we have the apology that stands up straight, looks you in the eye and owns the facts, while cringing inside from the pain of it all. In the other corner, we have the distant … Read More

He Packed a Punch

A whole lot has happened since Muhammad Ali left us. But since my particular mission here has always been illuminating and celebrating contrasts of all kinds — the “Look, there’s this but right next to it there’s that” moments — I’m sticking with the Greatest for a time. Soon after he died, a friend of mine, in a Facebook post, said she was surprised to learn that Ali had been such a humanitarian in addition to being a boxing champion. … Read More

The Advent of a Really Hard Workout

As Advent begins, leading to the season of Peace and Joy, I figure it’s as good a time as any to shake things up a bit. Before Thanksgiving, I had been considering starting yoga, but on Monday I went to a “Body Combat” class instead, and now I’m hooked. Left hook, right hook, just plain hooked. Something about having the kids here for a spell and taking in all the changes happening with each one of them—well, it just makes … Read More

Computer Updates,Theories of the Universe, and Interceptions: Ah, the Wonders of Youth

It might be a kind of sacrilege to tamper with the words of a treasured poet, but if I were bold enough to give ol’ William Wordsworth something like an update, I know which famous line I’d aim for first. “The Child is father of the Man” (from one of his short poems, “My Heart Leaps Up”) is perfectly fine, of course, in its suggestion that we all have everything that we’re going to become in us at an early … Read More

Sports Mom, the Second Half

I have an artist friend who paints beautiful background murals for museum exhibits. He says modestly that often people don’t much notice them, even though of course they took him hours of careful work, because real creatures—a moose, an elk, a family of wolves perhaps– are front and center. Such it is, I think, only kind of in reverse, with the dramas going on in our lives versus what’s happening in the larger arena outside and all around us. Sometimes, … Read More

Would You Like a Little Magic With That Bird?

If you’re expecting something all nice and dripping with gratitude on the cusp of Thanksgiving Day, I’m sorry to disappoint you. That namby-pamby stuff doesn’t interest me much today. While I do of course hope that you’ll have a splendid and congenial feast with your loved ones, my subject brings with it some rancor, some bristles up, some heightened tension. There is, however, at least a Bird involved. Maybe my mood can be attributed partly to what just happened during … Read More

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