I’m taking a mini-course on the Harlem Renaissance at the College of St. Rose. Taught by the brilliant Mark Ledbetter, it seems that our conversation often drifts away from the subject but inevitably flows back to where we began in perfect asymmetry. His particular form of magic. The search for identity kept creeping back into … Continue reading An American Story
I just finished reading Patti Smith’s memoir, Just Kids. It is the story of her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe in the time of a burgeoning New York City art scene of the 1960s and 70s. They WERE kids who arrived in New York with nothing but their determination to be artists. They wandered into one … Continue reading Genius Clusters?
Are you one of those people who watch violent movies with a hand spread across your face, fingers splayed for a quick check to see if the pummeling is over? Does every volatile action make you feel sick? Are you like me when reading? Laugh out loud or sob as a story unfolds. As tears … Continue reading Reading Revs Up the Brain
The research for the book I’m working on has gotten me thinking about the lies we tell. From our early childhood, we are counseled to always tell the truth. George Washington is our model for that until we’re much older and find out there were probably no cherry trees in his life. As children, we … Continue reading A Brief History of Lying
I want to retell a story I read in the newspaper yesterday that seems almost unbelievable in a time when we are overwhelmed with people doing wrong. It’s a story of making personal sacrifice taken to new heights — the high bar for random acts of kindness. It starts with a girl out shopping. She … Continue reading Paying It Forward Big Time
I loved the music of Whitney Houston and the elegance she possessed in interpreting lyrics. And her voice? Her depth and range was magnificent. I clearly remember the movie she was in with Kevin Costner so many years ago. It seems to me it was a foreshadowing of what was to happen to her, yet … Continue reading I Will Always Love Her, Too
It’s winter and instead of fearing the slip and slide of the roads, I’m in a place where the sun shines, the sky is mostly blue, and the palms are unfailingly graceful. The pelicans have razor sharp accuracy in stalking their fish; the sandpipers scurry along the shoreline in daily ritual. Believe me I can … Continue reading FEELING BLUE IN A RED STATE
Every family has its characters, its heroes who strike a chord we can connect to, laugh about, wonder how they ever had chutzpah to do this or that. Aunt Lucy, who was institutionalized for eccentric behavior like dancing in the street; Uncle George who vanished under questionable circumstances; the family pariah, Richard, who needed to … Continue reading PATERNAL NOCTURNE, A LOOK BACK TO GO FORWARD
The blog hiatus is over. I’m in a different world now, writing from a desk with a lake view facing west— palm trees list in the wind, two geckos scamper across the floor. It seems this part of southwest Florida was settled by Italianophiles. We’re in Naples; we have family in Venice. But other countries … Continue reading THE STORIES WE TELL ARE SOMETIMES TOO HARD TO BEAR
I know it’s a bit early to be talking about resolutions. We haven’t even gotten through the season to be jolly; the much anticipated making ourselves crazy season when we over shop, over do, and over eat while trying to replicate a Norman Rockwell illustration. It never seems to be the happy time we want … Continue reading CAN WE RESOLVE TO BE HAPPY?