Sunday was the highest of High Holy Days for Christians — Easter! But, even if you are one of those folks who swear you don’t have a religious bone in your body … well, the story can still compel and inspire.
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Let’s talk about mothers and sons. We live in a world absent shared symbols, ceremonies and rituals for rites of passage into manhood. In the premodern world, these rites were universal and effective. Every culture, every tribe made overt the vital and necessary steps from puberty to manhood. Today, this journey is left largely to the clinical observations of psychology.
I know a published novelist. She is my friend. She is brilliant. A birth accident left her with cerebral palsy. Her speech is difficult to understand. Although she can ambulate, her gait is awkward. The motor skills of her arms and hands are functional, but impaired. But, cognitively, she’s perfect. She is a perfectly normal human being trapped in a disabled body.
The most common enemies of marriage are treacherously subtle. Domestic violence, infidelity, addiction, vicious arguments — these enemies of marriage are obvious. But they are not the most common enemies. Just the most obvious.
For the longest time, I didn’t believe in the Easter Bunny. And then I met her. The Easter Bunny is Jewish. Who’da thought. You gotta love the irony. Her name is Barbara. And she doesn’t hop. At least not around me.
In the swirling mystery of human sexuality, there is a line between profound, ecstatic intimacy and disturbing pathology. I’m not in the business of deciding where that line is for you. But there is a line. And observing and investigating that line is an important exercise.
I “met” one of my favorite teachers at the age of 15, whilst a sophomore in high school. Born in the mid-fourth century B.C.E., Euclid of Alexandria launched Euclidian geometry on a collision course with yours truly. Time of impact: 1972.
Third-century Christian bishop gets his head cut off on 2/14. Geoffrey Chaucer writes a poem about randy birds who get it on, by sheer coincidence, on the day the Roman Catholic Church remembers the headless bishop.
I can be in a relationship with you. Or I can manage a relationship with you. I prefer to be in the relationship. But, if, over time, evidence suggests it unwise to be in relationship with you, and if our work, social circles or blood lines require us to sometimes or regularly be related (or at least in the same room) … then I will manage the relationship.
It’s wrong, so very wrong, to allow your children to develop bonds of love and trust with a new man or woman only to find that, a few weeks or months later, the relationship has sputtered out, ended.
Once again, I find myself seeing something three ways at once. And it’s not because I’m wishy-washy. It’s because I think each view is true.
Children are innocent. Toddlers don’t calculate to ruin our day. Or our night. If parents can practice warmth and empathy toward a child’s innocence, maybe they can find empathy for the innocence they, too, had as children.
When we run a fever or bleed, we visit the doctor. But when we struggle with mental health, we decide we are some combination of weak or broken or bad. When, all the time, it might just be an unhappy brain.
The thoughtful folks at Milwaukee Airport seem to have thought of everything. They even have an official “Recombobulation Area.” At least they know how to make us laugh.
I think Einstein was right: Time doesn’t really exist. It’s an agreed-upon group illusion, designed to sell watches and clocks. And to tell me when to pay my quarterly taxes. And to count down the moments maybe to provide rhythm and context to this thing called life.
You can’t schedule grief. It doesn’t respect our orderly, tidy, well-planned lives. The mystery of both life and death sits above and beyond the comforting group illusion we call “time and space.” Grief trumps everything.
You feel like a naked newborn, squalling helpless into the night. Incredulity is the first response to epiphany. Gratitude should be the next. Thirdly, take action — redeem your past self with everything breath, word and deed.
There’s one sure test to know whether I love someone: I revel in their happiness. I’m invested in their happiness. Working for, inspiring, sacrificing for their happiness fills me with happiness.
My heart breaks, again, for our nation. In August, police officer Darren Wilson fatally shot Michael Brown, a civilian, in Ferguson, Mo. On Monday afternoon, I was listening to sports talk radio when the grand jury’s decision not to criminally prosecute Wilson first came to my ears.
Thanksgiving Day is without a doubt my favorite cultural holiday. For me, it is filled with peace, family, good food, football, sublime fall weather and nostalgia, the latter being a preferred indulgence of mine.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) wrote one of my childhood books, “The Jungle Book,” the gripping tales of the feral child Mowgli and his animal friends Bagheera, the leopard; Baloo, the bear; Kaa, the python; and Mowgli’s deadly rival Shere Khan, the tiger.
A reader turns me on to a blog site by therapist Dr. Robert Glover. I like him. I like his encouraging energy. He reminds me of me, the way he is always writing, reaching out to the world and saying, “Hey, let’s think about this together!”
I’ll always remember my favorite clinical supervisor as Wild Bill, though I never called him that to his face. But he had a long, shoulder-length mane and mustache that recalled my favorite boyhood Old West hero, Wild Bill Hickock.
In 1979, author William Styron gave us the novel “Sophie’s Choice.” In 1982, director Alan Pakula gave us the film by the same name.
Self-esteem. Self-worth. How do human beings come to feel worthwhile? Or, to risk living as if they are worthy, even if they do not yet feel themselves to be?