Posts

SUSTENANCE

Charlottesville is consuming me. I admit to being obsessed with all the coverage and interviews. It cannot be good for me to watch too much CNN and listen to too many talking heads, but I cannot look away. I am fascinated by how human beings can grow such hate in their hearts and minds, hate that leads them to see others as less than human. It’s a specific kind of selfishness that is truly terrifying. It’s fear. It has always been fear and it will always be fear.

Look into your own family, look at the people you love. Why do they lash out, why do they do hurtful things, even to people they love?  Fear.  

I look at my own children, who I know are good and kind people, and I’m shocked multiple times a week at how vicious they can be with each other, how immediately defensive they are when they feel threatened and fearful. If they are about to get in trouble, if they know they did something hurtful, if they think they are about to get steamrolled -- they are virulently defensive. …

Thank God for Freezing Soccer Mornings

We were up at 6am, in rural Turlock, California, ready to cheer on a field full of 10-year olds competing in their early morning State Cup Quarterfinal.

It was 34 degrees outside -- not so impressive if you're playing winter soccer in Chicago, or New York, or Kansas, but pretty freakin' cold if you happen to be 10-year old California girls and their parents.

The grass crunched beneath our feet. We blew frosty smoke rings from our mouths. We stomped our feet and talked about how it was damn cold but WOW it could be even colder, and at least the sun was out.

We cheered on our girls, hoping to will them to victory with our support and encouragement. And then, we felt heartsick and helpless as we watched them go down in defeat. We fretted to each other that they deserved this win, that the score didn't tell the real story.

We joked "At least we'll get our Sunday back," since by midway through the second half it was clear that we weren't returning for a …

What Can Be Our Response?

Here is an unspeakable secret: paradise is all around us and we do not understand.
It is wide open. The sword is taken away,
but we do not know it. I am present
without knowing it at all, in this unspeakable paradise, and I behold this secret, this wide open secret which is there for everyone, free.
– Thomas Merton  Thank you, Thomas Merton, for your words, and thank you to my friend Linda for sharing them on Facebook this morning to usher in 2017.  
Perhaps this is what all angst and anxiety stem from: we are present in unspeakable paradise without knowing it, even while we search for it high and low, with desperation and urgency.  We are searching for that paradise with every resolution, every firm decision to be better, do better, love better.  Paradise is all around us: why don't we see it?  Why aren't we aware of every moment we are living in it?  Why don't we know it?

That existential crisis will be even more palpable in this, our beloved country, as we watch Donald J. T…

Comedy Planet with Little T

Image
Overhead:

Little T: "Daddy, we're learning all about the planets and the solar system!  Did you know that Pluto is not considered a planet anymore?"

Daddy: "No, I didn't know that.  What about Uranus?"

Little T: "Your anus is considered a moon."

She'll be here all night, folks!  Really.  Aaaaallll night.


* * *

An A+ on at least one thing

Image
Not sure we've done much right as parents, but I take great comfort in knowing that my kids will forever find joy in brand new sketch books. 

On Migraines and Laughter

Image
OK folks, I come roaring back to the blogging world with two things.

Thing one: Yesterday, I got a migraine.  The kind that makes you weep and call for your mommy when you're pushing 50.  The kind that makes decapitation seem like a viable option.  The kind that makes you shake your fist and curse at whatever creature you were in a past life. 
Come to think of it, there is no another kind of migraine.  They are all like that.
My kids know what to do when I get one of these: keep the house quiet.  But knowing what to do and being good at doing it are two very, very different things.  They mean well, of course, but their execution needs a bit of work.  
Case in point.  This is a picture of the sign my daughter made for the rest of the family and propped up on my bedroom door last night:

She propped it up on my door.  On a hard wood floor.  Where it kept sliding down and clattering on the floor, banging into the door on the way down.  Not to be deterred, she kept putting it back.  Rou…

I Came From a Dry Creek Bed

Image
My sister and her family recently bought a house.  They moved in this past weekend, just in time for Thanksgiving 2015.  It must be a thing our family does: exactly forty years ago, my family moved at this same time of year from San Francisco to Sonoma.  We enjoyed our first "country" Thanksgiving -- pizza -- on paper plates, sitting on the dining room floor in our new-to-us (but built in 1918) home.

My sister's move prompted me to tell my kids about that Thanksgiving in 1975 and about moving when I was seven.  My daughter asked me if the new house was a lot nicer than the one we left behind in Bernal Heights.  No, I told her.  I loved our SF house, as much as I loved this new one. I loved the way our old house was actually two of those classic San Francisco houses, smashed up next to each other.  Ours was connected on the inside, with our bedrooms and living areas on one side, and my dad's pottery studio on the other.  I loved that we lived right across the street …