Skipping Fairbanks, Tending– maybe it’s Trending? — Home

A friend of mine recently brought her husband to the bus station to embark on a faraway trip. Then a friend of hers asked, “How did you feel about not going?” She replied, “I don’t know. ALASKA!’ You guessed right: that friend was actually yours truly. So I don’t really need to ask anybody else about my feelings; in truth, though, they’re a little hard to parse out. Fortunately, this remains a blog about contrasting elements lying side by side. That’s … 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

In the Event of Advent

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This is a perfect time of year both to give unto others and to level with yourself. What will you choose to do, and what will you choose not to do? Sure, Advent is about anticipation and preparation, but not necessarily decoration and trepidation. (I know, those two words do not often keep company together, but they definitely can.) For me, and I suspect for many of us, the trick is to enjoy wholeheartedly much of what is swirling all … Read More

Same Lady, Different Van

Déjà vu experiences, much like birds, come in a variety of plumages. They swoop in unexpectedly, often leaving you stunned, or smiling, or maybe wondering about the trajectory of your own life. There are those magical time travel moments when— whoosh—you’re suddenly back in a previous day, and then, amazingly, even what happens after you make the connection is exactly like what it once was, down to the slightest gesture or expression, as if the same movie is playing. Your … 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

Swinging Equals Not Gettings Things Done… Ah!

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Life can, it seems to me, be divided up roughly into “Getting Things Done in a Linear Fashion,” “Getting Things Done in a Circular Fashion,” “Not Getting Things Done,” “Just Going Back and Forth,” and finally “The Hell With It.” Once in a while, I’m in the first couple of camps. Much of the time, however— sometimes by choice, often not—I’m in the last three. To be more precise, it looks like I’ll be in the “Just Going Back and … Read More

Boyz to Men, All Around Us

Each time I dive in again here, I remind myself that my theme is contrasts…things that are next to each other but strikingly different. Life is a lot about merging, but those lines of demarcation are everywhere, too. Take, for example, the fact that we try to appreciate the little treasures that glimmer through our daily lives while not shrinking from the full force of tragedies outside of our own households. Sometimes, of course, it’s the opposite: our own lives … Read More

Landscape Studies: Religious and Homegrown

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Did you hear about the recent U.S. Religious Landscape Study? The people at the Pew Research Center have been busy bees, publishing the results of their new survey just as—around our homes— the flowers are blooming, the vegetable plants are taking hold, and of course all the beds need tending. I suppose there are literal little domestic landscapes, and then there are Large Landscapes in the Abstract. In this space, I try not to succumb to the power of metaphors … Read More

A Woodpile is a Thing of Beauty

It’s funny sometimes, isn’t it, how a task that might at first seem like just another chore to complete on a long list of others becomes more than that, takes on a certain depth and fullness, even gives new life? Take wood-stacking, for instance. Our neighbors down the road had what looked to be a wood-stacking party yesterday. A bunch of cars pulled in, and lots of people wearing gloves were moving about purposefully as I drove by in the … Read More

Our Kids– The Ones We Have, Plus More

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My husband and I may have become, strangely enough, mostly empty-nesters; but darned if children don’t keep popping up all over the place. And sometimes they even come with birds. I happened upon this sweet sculpture in the Boston Public Garden the other day. Maybe you’ve been charmed by the piece, too. Called “Boy and Bird Fountain,”(even though there wasn’t any water flowing) it’s near the Arlington Street side. Since I was in town to attend a conference with accomplished … Read More

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