Encountering Grace

June 19, 2020

Dear Simon, 

Thanks to today’s chaos, I found you. Though we live on different continents, I’m imagining you’ve also been wandering around in what’s familiar and what’s difficult and sad . . . managing and rearranging your life to meet some kind of a newer “Simon normal.” Sometimes tough and lonely work on my end! But the good news is during my latest office-cleaning frenzy I found something I thought I’d lost – a small scrap of paper holding your email address. Seeing your name made me smile in a way I haven’t for weeks. And, now that I’ve located you, here comes your wel...

April 30, 2020

Times are challenging, my friends. We’re trying our best to endure, to rise above and move beyond. 

And the normal? Well, it just isn’t anymore. Today, I think I’ll take my cue for daily living from Leonard Cohen:

“Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering,
There’s a crack in everything,
That’s how the light gets in.”

My best hope is you’ll feel the warmth of the light that streams through the cracks of the imperfect.

Sending my love,

April 18, 2020

Horizon: Where the Earth meets the Sky

“I used to think the wilderness would never end.

I called my mom and asked –

Does time really heal all wounds?

Do the pieces ever fall back into place?

Does the wilderness go on forever?

So she told me about the horizon.

She said, ’There is an edge,

Where the earth meets he sky

And when you’re there,

You will see daisies in the sidewalk

And the sun after the rain.’

I asked her to draw me a map

And she cried,

Because she knew this road was mine to walk . . .

. . .

So I walked.

And it felt like forty days and it hurt like forty nights.

And I waved to th...

March 27, 2020

We’re inhabiting a time when our equilibrium, life as we understand it, has moved onto shifting sand. In fact, with the proportion of turmoil out there, it’s feeling a bit biblical . . . plague, pestilence and scourge in the form of a new virus and its profound fallout: fear of the unknown, a frantic search for safety, trust and balance, and a most prodigious display of human-made and bravely-endured chaos. We are craving answers and solutions to problems we’ve yet to even fully understand.

Thanks to the world’s intelligent scientists, selfless, hard-working medical profes...

March 6, 2020

I just looked at her while she shared her best hopes. 

I encountered a grace moment not long ago. A former student and I found each other by surprise in a coffee shop where I was writing my latest blog. We briefly reconnected first about life in general, and then moved on to writing and reading, pastimes we both shared. She talked more about her busy lifestyle, stressing, as a reader, the importance of rich content within few words. She wanted short, memorable and shareable text. 

“We’re so busy,” she stated about her generation; “reading lots of text is really hard to comm...

February 20, 2020

I am ridiculously in love with poetry;  I even write it when I meet a metaphor that won’t let me go . . . and I’ve had enough wine. I was reminded of that part of me (the poetry-loving part) one morning last week. A woman hosting a morning TV show shared that while attending a large, day-long event, she heard a poem that made her cry. Her tears were unexpected and heartfelt; she talked about her experience in ways that made me think that both reading, and crying over poetry are unusual happenings for her. But not for me.

Poetry is such a beautifully dense medium – so...

January 10, 2020

Emily Dickinson wrote:

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul

And sings the tune without the words

And never stops at all.

One of my happiest truths about moving into anything new is that I’ll have the chance to walk into empty spaces and make new choices. Such chances absolutely fill me with hopeful delight. Sure, I’ll be wandering into the unfamiliar, carrying all kinds of baggage . . . but the good news is I’ll be moving into uncluttered spaces. I can choose what to leave behind because it just won’t fit, and how to reconfigure all the stuff I decide to ke...

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