When I worked in TV news, New Orleans was never on my assignment list. My jobs were in San Francisco and Atlanta, the cities where I lived and worked.
But lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the storied city where my mother was born. Call it chance, the Universe, or synchronicity — the Crescent City has been coming up for me in unexpected ways.
It’s not as though I ever really liked the place. …
It is one of those nights when the commute between Seattle and my so-called home in the San Juan Islands feels more like punishment than reward. Long day, long drive, long boat ride. I’m working harder than I want at a job I dislike to maintain a bourgeois veneer I don’t even believe in. It is already dark when I reach the ferry landing feeling not so much dead inside as…neutral, on hold.
To get here this evening, I drove north on Interstate 5 from the University of Washington, left the freeway in Mount Vernon, and headed west on Highway…
With all eyes on the trial of Derek Chauvin, you’d think police everywhere would be on high alert regarding their behavior. That they’d want to distance themselves from incidents that tarnish the reputation of all police.
But during the height of the Chauvin trial, the news was filled with two incidents of “driving while Black” that made cops look bad all over again.
Readers please note: this story discusses the history of sexualization of minors, and the social and legal implications of pedophilia.
Once upon a time in a land across the sea, there was a boy who fell in love with a girl, who also fell in love with him.
During their brief romance, they fumbled into intimacy the way young people often do. But before their love could blossom fully, the girl died. And the boy suffered greatly. Although he would eventually grow into a learned man, he never forgot her. …
In the end, fear of death is a matter of identification. Identify with the ego, and you're afraid of death. Identify with the Self or Soul, and fear's not an issue. You know you're just going home.
It's wonderful to read this piece while making my way through Ursula K. Le Guin's Hainish novels. In those stories, the staggering distance between galaxies is covered in a few hours through light-speed traveling ships. But those hours translate to years for characters standing still on a single planet, while the ship's crew remains young.
As usual, you raise many issues worth pondering well after the reading. Thanks for writing this.
This wonderful story went to a place I didn't see coming. And the destination was even better than the getting there, which was terrific in its own right. Such good information here. Dr. Besser? I had to Google him, but yeah, the dude looks good even with gray hair. A real Cary Grant.
Some years back, I came across research that studied how babies respond to beauty. Can't quote chapter and verse right now. But the takeaway was that there is definitely an unconscious, involuntary, and perhaps pre-wired attraction to beauty.
How this differs from one culture to another and is understood by infants is as mysterious to me as how we internalize from infancy the inherited code for language. But it's fascinating stuff. As is this story. Which I agree with wholeheartedly. Thanks for writing it.
Forget the outrage over Atlanta.
Forget the righteous indignation.
Forget Trevor and Barack, though
They are certainly telling us the truth.
Forget Biden, standing behind the presidential podium,
Telling the nation, this must stop.
Forget the 150% increase in Asian-directed hate crimes.
Forget all that, and look at the other truth.
Because their starving, ravaged women stood on the rank
corners of bombed-out, napalmed Vietnam,
Singing a lullaby we could not resist:
I love you good all night, GI. I love you good.
While Hanoi outsmarted, outmaneuvered, and
wiped the floor with its last imperialist invader — US.
Thanks for taking the time to put forth these very important and original ideas. I began reading your series a while back and bookmarked them till I had more time to consider them. I've come away from the series agreeing that any discussion of racism must include racial hierarchy and its origins. I'm not as confident about the ability or willingness of the psychiatric community to embrace this challenge as you are. But you've made an important contribution to the ongoing dialogue with these articles. I'm very grateful to you for publishing them.
Thanks so much for mentioning me in your story. I'm glad my response resonated with you. What I like most about your voice as a writer is its authenticity. Something about it reminds me of what the Buddhists call "beginner's mind." That is a hard thing to hold onto as we journey through life. Your disarming stories remind me not to get too full of myself.
A well known writer was once asked to explain how one becomes a writer. "Try to do something hard," she said. "Give it everything you've got. Fail. Then you'll become a writer."
Thanks or sharing this thoughtful perspective on a subject we outsiders may never fully understand. I admire you for thinking about how the fallout from this interview may affect the children. It sounds like you're going to be a caring and loving mom one of these days.
Reading your piece, I thought about something Oprah used to say on her old TV show. There's a difference between being selfish and "self-ful." Being self-ful means putting on your own oxygen mask before putting on your child's. Because unless you do, the child may not survive the plane crash.
What I hope…