Tag Archives: death

Count It All Joy

Many years ago, a woman named Eileen sat on her front porch and looked over the chain-link fence at my strange family and our friends, all dancing around a Beltaine Maypole in a nice suburban neighborhood of Manchester, New Hampshire.

Despite our peculiar activities, I suspect it was the smell of delicious food on the grill that finally convinced her to wander over and inquire as to the reason for our celebration. She got a bit of an education on Druidism that afternoon, and made fast friends with our group.

Eileen became a frequent visitor to our home, a close friend of my mother’s, and even the emergency babysitter if my family needed someone to watch me. She was the perfect example of a good neighbor. She and Mum both loved flowers, and the space between our yards became gardens in the spring & summer of irises, lilies and roses. Continue reading Count It All Joy

Stardust Spirituality

On January 13th, I attended a debate in Santa Monica between Rabbi Michael Gotlieb, Dr. Theodore Drange and Dr. Yaron Brook. The topic was “God vs. Atheism” and both Dr. Drange and Dr. Brook were representing the atheist side. The debate was engaging, entertaining and frustrating, as I have a number of other points I did not feel were properly addressed.

I walked away from that debate wanting to sit down with the Rabbi and engage in more of a discussion about religion, faith & science. I decided to write him a letter, which I will send him, but that I can share publicly to explain my own lack of faith to those who have asked me.   Continue reading Stardust Spirituality

Twenty Thirteen

So my resolution this year is about writing. It’s about this blog becoming an actual platform for the stories of my experiences that have informed my philosophies on life – personal & political & anything between. As I’ve said many times: the only thing I truly feel like an expert in are my own experiences and my reactions to them. By articulating them here, I may be able to find a way to share what knowledge I’ve unearthed through pursuing love, through enduring pain, through aspiring to be as fearless as possible and my ever-growing need to embrace doubt and truth as recklessly as possible. Maybe these stories will be useful or inspiring, either to others or simply reflecting back at myself.

So I promise 24 stories this year. Two a month. There are days when I feel that I could write entire novels of my life, and other days when the lake of inspiration is dry as a bone, but over this year, I can do 24 pieces of this puzzle which forms my personal picture.

Anais Nin said it best: “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” — I’m taking that to heart this year.

So I’ll start with this past year. 2013 was an exciting year of my life. To be honest, pretty much every year since 2007 has been a progressive attempt to top the previous one in terms of challenging myself, embracing new experiences or diving further into what I’m capable of. Continue reading Twenty Thirteen

The Boston Marathon Bombing

Boston was my home before I moved West. Boston will always be “home” to me, that place I go to see the family (blood and chosen) that made me who I am.

This afternoon I received the news that two bombs had exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Copley Square. Copley is a familiar place to me – I used to work a block away, and I’ve watched the Marathon go by many times, in the past I’ve greeted the runners as they finished their 26 mile run.

As usual, when a tragedy strikes, things are chaotic. Reports were coming in from every media source, I sent and received dozens of text messages checking on the whereabouts and well-being of the people I know and love in the area.

It’s been six or seven hours since the first bomb went off. We still don’t know who did it. We don’t know the full count of people injured, though there have been two confirmed dead. We don’t know much, and news media simply recycles the same story until there’s something new to add. We are surrounded by images of emotion, of blood and pain and smoke and fire, and incredible videos of people who ran towards the explosion, towards the people there who needed help. There is such a mix of feelings – the pain of knowing that some humans do this to one another, but the hope found in knowing how many come to help, how many come, selflessly, to give, and reach out to one another, strangers united by their humanity.

MarathonRunnersWhen the dust has settled and we’ve learned more and had time to try to make sense of this tragedy in Boston, perhaps we’ll take a moment to reflect on the fact that being the victims of bombing, whether foreign or domestic, is a terrible thing. 

Maybe as we heal from this hurt, we can take some time to learn where other bombings have taken place in the world lately. Maybe we can try to help. Maybe we can try to stop them. Maybe we have that power. Maybe it’s time to look to our leaders and demand we no longer be responsible for this feeling we’re experiencing, experienced by others around the world.

No person, no nation, no people should feel what Boston feels today.

Ender

There’s a draft post here in my account on WordPress from the day I took Ender home. I never finished it. He deserved a post in life. He truly was amazing.

Ender was my baby birdie. He was hatched in late March, a yellow-sided green cheek conure (read: colorful little birdie!), and I took him home on May 21st of 2012 at eight weeks old. I named him after the protagonist of Ender’s Game, because I’m that much of a geek.

Ender, the day I took him home.

Conures have notorious personalities, and Ender was no exception. He had to be with me all of the time, constantly exploring whatever it was I was doing or cuddling on me or actively engaging in his surroundings. He was pretty quiet, especially compared to my Quakers, but he loved to make odd little noises and laugh at me. The only word I ever heard him say was “baby”. Continue reading Ender