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Steven Kalas

Mothers help sons by setting boundaries for themselves

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.

People with disabilities deserve empathy, not shock

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.

Managing relationships sometimes necessary

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.

Pondering mysteries of time as new year looms

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.

Embrace the rebirth of epiphany

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.

What do ‘I know that I know’? Really, nothing

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.