Pass it on.

October 23, 2016 § 2 Comments

It’s like that old game, hot potato.

When luck comes your way you got to pass it on. Pass it on quick as you can.

monarch-on-milkweedNo need to worry, it always leaves a little sparkly dust on your fingers.

Like touching a butterfly, some of the glimmer  on luck’s wings is bound to rub off.

Not everyone knows it, but it’s true. You got to give it away.

Clutch luck with both hands and it goes limp, turns itself into lifeless objects: hollow houses, gems with a cold sparkle, cars that drive real fast to nowhere—things that look like happiness when you don’t have ’em, but leave the mouth dry, hunger unappeased.

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Ever after, part 2.

October 9, 2016 § 7 Comments

old-coupleFalling in love young?


As irresistible as gravity.

And with luck, kindness, and effort, something lasting follows.

But some never form an enduring partnership when they are young.

Others lose that best friend to death.

In both cases, there is a vacancy, a hollow place in the heart that aches to be filled.

But with age, the one about to swan dive usually pauses to consider the depth of the water.

Falling in love later in life is more clear-eyed, and more complicated.

Two fully-formed human beings face each other, each towing a lifetime of baggage and assets: children, grandchildren, memories, mistakes, dreams.

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Ever after, part 1.

September 26, 2016 § 4 Comments

ac4caebc98bd1884_wedding_cakes_toppers_bCommitting your ever-after when you are young, and still learning how to be yourself, is exuberant, breathless, optimistic.

Fueled by romance and hormones, but only a partially-formed understanding of the self you are offering each other, you walk off the cliff together with absolute faith in flight.

To give it much thought would mean you weren’t really in love.

The decision to commit is made mostly outside the realm of rational thought anyway. This is the body’s best shot at immortality, and so it looks for a partner with physical traits that predict healthy, attractive children.

The body is less concerned with character or smarts—and a body that has decided, it’s time, floods the brain with endorphins, ensuring that a willing blindness takes over.

No one has ever been as funny, attractive, attentive, sympathetic as this guy!

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The lucky kids.

September 11, 2016 § 6 Comments


If, like me, you were lucky enough to be born in a middle class family, you were given many gifts. Bet you took them for granted.

That’s okay. As a kid it is not your job to question the way the world is, it just is. But even now those gifts may be unappreciated, and so taken for granted you figure they come with every childhood.

So, what did you and I get as some of the lucky kids?

We had a childhood.

We worried, sure, but our worries were kid-sized.

img_1736_edited-1Am I ever going to grow?

Learn to throw a ball?

Figure out long division?

Compared to wondering if the lights will be turned out or whether to eat ketchup, the only thing in the refrigerator, our worries were easy.


What else did we middle-class kids get?

Good grammar, books, travel, experiences.

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Vacation, with dogs.

August 26, 2016 § 2 Comments

IMG_0503_edited-2At home, dogs are human.

They just happen to walk on all fours.

And wag.


Dogs are confused by elsewhere—it brings out the dog in them.

They have not learned the “nos” of a new place and they are not great at extrapolating the “nos” of home to, say, a rental on Cape Cod.

Chewing not allowed at home could be all right in this new place.

Busting out the screen door between now and checkout?

Possibly okay. Worth a try.

Or several tries. « Read the rest of this entry »

The Land of Story.

July 25, 2016 § 2 Comments

once upon a timeThe mapping of the brain is becoming more and more precise.

In the latest revision the label “story” was added.

Yes, the brain has allocated territory to the human habit of storytelling and story-listening.

Why? Brain real estate is valuable.

How do stories justify themselves when it comes to the bottom line, survival?

Stories organize the random chaos that is life into something coherent, manageable, hopeful; something worth the effort.

How? Story snips the endlessly unspooling thread of life into something shorter: it begins here, it ends here. And in between a problem is raised—and solved!

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July 18, 2016 § 4 Comments

IMG_0850It’s not that I am ready to die.

Or even to be old.

But I accept that there is a certain fairness to both these outcomes.

I have had a wealth of days, and far more than my share of kindness and lucky breaks.

As a kid I had the luxury of believing all families were loving and durable and did their darndest to protect, teach, and give a child an advantageous start. « Read the rest of this entry »