Category Archives: Essay

Let Us Prey

Give me a minute. I’ll get to my point before long, but I have to set it up, first. According to the app on my smartphone, it took me only a minute to fall asleep just over half an hour … Continue reading

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Mediterranean Course Correction

I inquired of Google this morning: “What is the Mediterranean lifestyle?” The first answer I found—and the one I intend on adapting as my own—was this, from a blog entitled, The Mediterranean Dish in a post labeled Live the Mediterranean … Continue reading

Posted in Change, Compassion, Doing Without, Empathy, Essay, Generosity, Philosophy, Ruminations, Self-discipline, Selfishness | Leave a comment

As If I Were Weather

This morning is another of those days reminiscent of late nineteenth century London, as described in stories about serial killers going about their business under cover of pea-soup fog. When the air is this opaque, I do not know whether … Continue reading

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Modesty or Something Like It

Am I being modest when I insist on wearing a shirt to the door when I answer a knock? Or is the issue really embarrassment at my physical appearance? I suppose I could try to imagine that I inhabit a … Continue reading

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Transformative Places

Wherever we go, when we settle in we take on attributes caused by the place. We change, at least a little, to reflect the way a place we live changes us. And often, maybe usually, we don’t recognize the change … Continue reading

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Hunger and Everything Else

Those of us who have the luxury of savoring our food, instead of scraping just to get enough to survive, are extremely fortunate, indeed. Sometimes, when I’m in the midst of looking at recipes and thinking how delicious they might … Continue reading

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The Allure of Skepticism and Belief

I remain extremely skeptical. But there’s room in my skepticism for the remote possibility that others have discovered aspects of reality that I haven’t experienced. An example of my skepticism that leaves open a possibility that goes against the grain … Continue reading

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The Color of Conspiracy

I wasn’t going to write any more this morning. But I did. What color is a black object? That’s an interesting question whose answer is beyond my capacity to fully comprehend, much less explain. An object that absorbs all visible … Continue reading

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Time to Kill Rugged Individualism

Rugged individualist. Loner. Aloof. Outsider. Those terms once described the person I sought to be. A man of his own. A guy who steered clear of the crowd, preferring to make his own decisions and think his own thoughts. Someone … Continue reading

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Bless Our Souls

David Brooks is a New York Times op-ed columnist and frequent guest on NPR and PBS programs. In my view, he usually holds centrist Republican viewpoints, though he tends to run a little more left of center than what I … Continue reading

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All Things in Moderation

The purposes of our trip to Oklahoma and Kansas were twofold: 1) take a long-delayed road trip, with the intent of “chilling” a bit; and 2) gather material from and become familiar with Kansas—Manhattan in particular—as a resource for a novel … Continue reading

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Wishing as a Lifestyle

Yet again, I arose far earlier than I intended this morning, getting out of bed about 3:30. A couple of cups of coffee and too much web-surfing later, I sit at my computer wondering why. Not just why I woke up … Continue reading

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Coincidental Judaism and Humanism

Last night, we attended a program in which Theodora Klayman, a Holocaust survivor from Zagreb, Yugoslavia (now Croatia) spoke of her experiences. She and her family were members of a very small minority of Yugoslavs/Croations who were Jewish. Hers was an … Continue reading

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Locked in to Tunnel Vision

Fear and lethargy contribute as much as lack of interest and understanding to generational differences. Consider the massive shifts in the musical landscape that took place after World War II, especially in the late fifties. It seems to me that the Greatest Generation … Continue reading

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Cultures in Transition

Wandering the streets of New York, one cannot help but be struck by the incredible diversity of the people of the city. The number of languages spoken and the number of cultures represented give life to the term “melting pot.” … Continue reading

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“Take this longing from my tongue…”

I learned, quite by accident, that the human tongue is a muscular hydrostat.  A muscular hydrostat is a biological structure (consisting primarily of muscles with no skeletal support structure) in animals used to manipulate objects or for locomotion of its host.  Other muscular hydrostats … Continue reading

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The Sotomayor Order

Perhaps I just don’t understand the full scope of the issue…or perhaps I understand it and am simply in disagreement with a lot of people with whom I’m normally in political lockstep.  In either case, I’ll go on record in … Continue reading

Posted in Essay, Government, Politics, Religion | 2 Comments

So Many Places with Potential…

My recently renewed enthusiasm about third places (see this, this, this, and this) has led me to do more research about “great good places.” That research has opened my eyes to my myopia about places I’ve lived, places I’ve long since … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Demographics, Essay, Housiing, Third Place, Urban planning | Leave a comment

The New Malthusian Imperative

If the world’s population is allowed to grow unchecked, there will come a time when the planet cannot sustain those who inhabit it.  Simple extrapolations of population growth, coupled with measured analyses of the rate of growth in food productivity, … Continue reading

Posted in Demographics, Economics, Essay, Philosophy, Religion | 4 Comments