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Steven Kalas

Darkness happens; we can opt for light

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.

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.

Yes, Virginia, there is an Easter bunny

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.

As Euclid reasoned, something is … or it isn’t

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.

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.

Many hands can help mitigate holiday season grief

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.

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.

Our rising happiness can lift all spirits

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.

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.

Measuring character, not status, treating all with dignity

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.

Sharing life’s kitchen, baking a cake called ‘we’

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!”