https://twitter.com/yoyo_ma/status/1609414029067296772?s=51&t=LvOMUrZ2xSDctWASSvuc5Q I’m a Yo-Yo Ma devotee, admiring both his versatile musical artistry and his good works. I share the wishes he conveys in the brief snippet above: May 2023 be “fabulous” for us all! The shovel he used to usher out the Old Year seems appropriate too. Though there were some important positive developments last … Continue reading A Shovel, Yo-Yo Ma, and an Odd Close to 2022…
https://twitter.com/zelenskyyua/status/1599162627908722688?s=51&t=cTYFiiJPa9YsGqGR8dbAZQ Tweet From President ZelenskyPresident Zelensky's message evoked an emotional reaction from me. Despite the appearance of normality in his tweet, the harsh winter has begun. Its impact has been worsened by the brutal Russian attacks not only on civilians, but also on the sources of heat and electricity. Nevertheless, the Ukrainian freedom fighters are … Continue reading The Giving Season In–and For–Ukraine
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com When I first heard the expression “flooding the zone," I thought it sounded somewhat conspiratorial. And it seems to be. It refers to just another Big Lie from the folks who are the experts on fabrications. Views of the elections' likely outcomes are being manipulated by a slew of … Continue reading AN EVEN BIGGER REASON TO IGNORE THE DAMN POLLS!
I, too, believe it is urgent that we who are the majority participate as never before—we must not be discouraged by reports suggesting our votes won't count! In Italy, the new prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, is an admirer of Mussolini who heads a neo-fascist party. Her ascent is the result of an election with an … Continue reading A WISE AND IMPORTANT TWITTER THREAD…
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com Some very positive events are occurring. I'm posting below the intro and conclusion from Robert Hubbell's Today's Edition newsletter, published September 22--an issue he titled: "A Good Day." ___________________ A half-dozen major stories broke on Wednesday. Together, they reinforce the rule of law and confirm the renewed strength … Continue reading SOME GOOD NEWS…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8oJ_-xvnDs Barack and Michelle Obama's return to the White House for the unveiling of their portraits was a joyous occasion. It was also evocative in any number of ways—most notably, a reminder of the importance of peaceful rituals involving the transfer of power. If you haven’t seen any of the coverage, I’ve included above the … Continue reading From Obama to Trump: Dr. Jill Biden’s Remarks Got Me Thinking…
I have increasingly come across the sad expression: “I no longer recognize my country.” I not only understand that expression; I also share it. We are being buffeted by a series of events that are searing to live through. We used to be so proud to be Americans. How did things go so terribly wrong?
Sunlight sweeps across our yard in a glistening arc. Adolescent trees sway rhythmically in a Wind so tamed from the wrath I feared in March that I smile with relief at the trees’ gentle dance. But wait; there’s more: The goldfinches visit en masse, Their feathers startlingly brighter, richer— Another paean to the lengthening stretch … Continue reading A Slice of Wonder in a Trembling World
I'm not one to look to entertainers for personal heroism. And I'm certainly aware that the made-for-public-consumption exteriors often hide some fairly unpleasant human beings. But I've long found musician Jon Batiste--a jazz pianist best known as the "Stay Human" band leader for Stephen Colbert's program--to be an extremely appealing guy: upbeat and open, seemingly … Continue reading Fame and Adversity, Love and Grace
Pondering how to approach the New Year with the shadow of January 6th lingering, I derive inspiration from the young poet we met at President Biden's inauguration: Amanda Gorman.
How developing and expressing a sense of gratitude can help us physically, psychologically--perhaps even politically!
Apart from grieving for our nation, I feel a personal sadness for our President-elect. He is by so many accounts one of the most decent, compassionate, honorable individuals in politics today. His experience makes him uniquely qualified to address the nearly overwhelming problems our nation faces. He has wisely chosen extraordinary individuals to help him in his formidable task. He has reached the pinnacle of an ambition he's held for his entire adult life. Similarly, our Vice President-elect. This should be an unvarnished time of personal pride for Kamala Harris. The first woman, African-American, individual of Indian descent to ascend to this high office, she has demonstrated her brilliance, strength, accomplishments, and yes--compassion. Yet when Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr is sworn in as our 46th President tomorrow outside our nation's Capitol, and Kamala Harris becomes that multiple glass ceiling-breaker Vice President, the area will look like a war zone because of insurrection by extremists goaded by Biden's predecessor.
Last night, I finished reading Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own. The author, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., is a Distinguished Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University. ... Though Glaude speaks of Baldwin’s rage, and his own rage, the rage that came to mind when I started this piece is mine.
It all seemed so simple. For our weekly Zoom get-together with friends, one woman suggested a discussion of a rather quirky event: an organ recital of a work by American composer John Cage. But is it 2 hours with an intermission? No. Perhaps, since John Cage was known for his innovations, it would take place over a day or two? Nope.
I realize that lots of people avoid talking about politics in these dreadfully polarized times. But political junkie that I am, I failed to realize that some of you don't even want to read about politics--not even on this blog. (Oh, my!) Please bear with me as I tell you why I am now far more hopeful about our country than I was before the Democratic National Convention last week.
Last night, Georgia Congressman John Lewis, one of my personal heroes, died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 80.
It was four years ago that I attended a political rally in a church in a neighboring community. Congressman Lewis had come to town to try to help a younger candidate win a seat to join him in the House of Representatives.
The church was packed with a heartwarmingly diverse crowd: all variations on the color spectrum, differing faiths or no faith, young and old, men and women.
Nobody would ever accuse me of being a math whiz, though I do feel I have skills some of my younger acquaintances lack: I eschew a calculator on occasion to make sure the various cortices of my brain responsible for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division get a little workout.
You just never know when your battery may run down while you’re stranded on a desert island and have an immediate need to balance your checkbook.
Oh, and there’s another mathematical task that I’ve mastered. An older friend told me not long ago that physicians who are concerned that a patient may be in the early stages of dementia will test mental agility by asking said patient to subtract backwards from 100—by 8s. I’ve gotten quite facile at that effort—and have moved on to 7s with similar success.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I’m inviting you to join me in exploring a story that involves number theory—a deep dive that I have no business whatsoever attempting. But my friend Allan, who excels in math, knows I like quirky stories and thoughtfully sent me this one, which appeared in Popular Mechanics.
She is an international icon, yet she talks with strangers as if they are her very best friends. She revels in her status, yet openly discusses her vulnerabilities. She moves deftly from riotous humor to wrenching soul-searching with an apparent spontaneity that's surely grounded in practice. She’s a marvel.
If you’re fortunate enough to have Netflix access, you can watch the new documentary, Becoming, now. If you don’t have Netflix, I’m sure it will be more widely distributed in the near future.
I don’t think my description of the film will detract from your experience: Michelle Obama’s magnetism—and the poignancy of the recent trajectory of her life and that of President Obama—must be witnessed to be fully appreciated. (The amazing orator, President Charisma, plays a relatively small part in this documentary.)
I guess I'm making a large leap in assuming that a) you haven't seen this photo before; and b) you've had the Zoom experience that so many of us have been introduced to in this time of social distancing.