April 30, 2018

Where do all the forgotten promises land? “I would never hurt you.” “I will love you forever.” “What’s mine is yours.”   I have been on both sides.   Sometimes in our frailty we don’t follow through. We simply don’t deliver. But often, we promise what can’t be promised.   It’s not a matter of lying. Though sometimes we lie. More that the hawk’s wings can’t cover the sky.   A Question to Walk With: In conversation with a loved… Read more

April 23, 2018

For example, the toaster needs to be cleaned, and taking it apart, the last screw loses its thread, and I can’t take the bottom off completely or put it back together. But it was my grandmother’s toaster, and I’m not ready to get another. But no one will fix it, and I can’t figure out how to. So I stop having toast for a month until I can accept it’s time to let it go. And somehow, though I feared… Read more

April 16, 2018

You can, despite the innocence you were born with, feel that something is missing, and try to forget that you are empty, by reading hundred- year-old novels, or planting dozens of bulbs, or you can try to fix what you see as broken in others until they call you kind, or you can look into the hidden gears of the world until others think you intelligent, and when nothing reaches you, you can run into things until old ways crack,… Read more

April 9, 2018

If you can’t sleep or look away from all that’s going on, then you haven’t done enough. I know that’s not helpful. But we have to accept this so we can do better the next time. We have to stand up before someone tells someone else they don’t belong. We need to look for the one who is lost before they become a fugitive. We must give a voice to kindness before people forget what it means. So if you… Read more

April 2, 2018

As you pour milk on your cereal, I am grateful for the sound of milk flowing over dried grain, for the peace that lets us wake and eat together, to stare at each other in silence like small animals. I am aware how safely tumbled through Eternity we are. Not to be hunted from birth. Or chased into the forest and forced to part. Or beaten for a secret some warlord thinks we’re hiding. I eat my toast and close… Read more

March 26, 2018

Delayed by storms, I’m having latkes in a hotel and you all come flooding back to me. Grandma pressing them with an old spatula on her Brooklyn stove. Dad saying, “Ma, you’re making enough for an army.” And Mom having a cigarette in the corner, arms folded, back against the wall.   In my sixty-sixth year, the smell of latkes makes me feel you mother, a year after your death. I miss what we never had.   You were always… Read more

March 19, 2018

The tops of clouds that no one sees illuminated by the sun.   The inside of the heart that no one sees softened by the soul.   The calm waiting at the center of all silence.   The warmth waiting at the center of all feeling.   The coolness waiting at the bottom of a lake.   The emptiness waiting at the bottom of all ideas.   The first sign of light that stirs birds to sing.   The wordless… Read more

March 12, 2018

The proper function of memory is to re-member, to put the members or parts of our life back together. We often get lost in reliving the past, when the gift of memory is to knit things back together, to re-member the whole. In my thirties, I had a powerful dream that showed me this. I was stopping by my grandparents’ home in Baldwin, New York. They lived in a small brick house, just off Sunrise Highway. In the dream, there… Read more

March 5, 2018

When I decide I love you just as you’ve left town, when you muster the courage to forgive your father and go to say so only to find he’s had a stroke, and you never know what he hears as I never know where you are, when I hold my face to the wind and my questions dis- appear—it’s the music of near misses that lets me know that my heart is just a reed.   In the realm of… Read more

February 26, 2018

When you feel you have no more to give, keep your heart open just a while longer, because this is when the deepest gift we have is about to show itself. This is the foundational side of a paradox that can’t be explained: as we’re humbled over time to honor our very real limitations, the light we carry is ever more exposed through those limitations. And just when we’re at the end of what we know, the soul’s lips are… Read more

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