Sympathy, or: Empathy

Epigraph: Listening is being able to be changed by the other person.–Alan Alda (b. 1936) An American sentence: Sincere curiosity led me to listen, which rather changed me. What's an 'American Sentence'? Allen Ginsberg, inventor of the American Sentence, felt that the haiku didn’t work as well in English. Ginsberg decided to remove the line structure… Continue reading Sympathy, or: Empathy

Free advice, or: Leave a tip

Epigraph: Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right.-Ezra Taft Benson (1899 – 1994) An American sentence: Self-proclaimed experts opine; meanwhile, I hardly understand myself. What's an 'American Sentence'? Allen Ginsberg, inventor of the American Sentence, felt that the haiku didn’t work as well in English. Ginsberg decided to remove… Continue reading Free advice, or: Leave a tip

Don’t judge, compare, or try to fix others

Israel means: "Struggle with God" A young rabbi friend of mine once praised me, suggesting that my ongoing contemplations about God, given that I'm an adult in my forties, are a testament to my relationship with God. My back-and-forth struggle with the concept (even though I lean more towards doubt than belief), as he framed… Continue reading Don’t judge, compare, or try to fix others

Facts can obscure truth…

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900 – 1944) Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.-Benjamin Disraeli (1804 – 1881) All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed.… Continue reading Facts can obscure truth…

The courage to be vulnerable…

Daring greatly means the courage to be vulnerable. It means to show up and be seen. To ask for what you need. To talk about how you’re feeling. To have the hard conversations.-Brené Brown (b. 1965) P.S. As always, I’m offline for 25 hours for Shabbat, which runs from sunset every Friday to sunset on Saturday. I… Continue reading The courage to be vulnerable…

Tradition and myth frame our response…

Tradition does not mean that the living are dead, it means that the dead are living.-Harold MacMillan (1894 – 1986) I grew up in a Jewish family, and we have raised our children in a Jewish tradition. Religion gives a framework for moral enquiry in young minds and points us to questions beyond the material.-Michael… Continue reading Tradition and myth frame our response…

Words wrapped around dreams…

What is poetry?? This is akin to asking “what is happiness?” Poetry is one soul speaking to the universe and hoping that the stars hear. Poetry is emotion woven in words. Poetry is words wrapped around dreams. Poetry is the vulgar made presentable and the presentable made profane. Poetry is an individual definition influenced by… Continue reading Words wrapped around dreams…

It is never our tenderness…

When death, the great reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness that we repent of, but our severity.-George Eliot (1819 – 1880) A personal thought Written as an American Sentence This must include tenderness (versus severity) towards ourselves. P.S. Yom Kippur (the holiest day of the year for Jews) runs from sunset on Wednesday to… Continue reading It is never our tenderness…