It’s an inconvenience, not a catastrophe

The love for my fellow man was stolen from me earlier this week. The affectionate heart that warmly embraced friends and strangers alike was slammed shut. My genial smile was gone, replaced with a cynical sneer. I was having lunch with my wife at a restaurant in the loop. Her stylish, leather backpack was on... Read more »

Pretend you are dying; then don't

Do you remember your life, the all-encompassing chronology of buoyant first kisses and rancorous last words, grateful births and grievous deaths, promises made and vows un-kept? Supposedly, just before you die, your entire life flashes in front of your eyes, the scenes blinking like strobe lights as the years roll by. “My Life,” the movie,... Read more »

The greatest humanitarian crisis in the world is that humanity doesn’t care

On Monday, in eye-popping 72-point type, a screaming front page headline reports the world’s latest human tragedy: ISIS bombs civilian neighborhood; level-5 hurricane bears down on Houston; gunman terrifies elementary school; famine sweeps across Somalia. By Friday, the news that shocked the world is reduced to a two-inch column buried in the lower half of... Read more »

Where would we be without the love of a woman?

What did the janitor say as he jumped out of the closet? Supplies! When my six and a half year old granddaughter told me that joke I laughed uproariously. For weeks afterward, every time we were together, it was our catchword that immediate brought us to laughter. But the punch line brought me to tears... Read more »

What lies ahead for former champion “Chocolatito” after the kayo that left him prone on the canvas?

The idea that one man beating the crap out of another man is an apt metaphor for the aging process may not fly for everyone – my wife, for sure, who rolls her eyes and leaves the room every time I tune in to Showbox and forgo bedtime for viewing the boxing matches on late... Read more »

Overcoming anxiety, wrestling with fear and having fun in Amsterdam

“Should I pack a raincoat?” Maybe we should get to the airport earlier. Where’s my passport? What if we can’t get a cab; what if we get stuck in traffic; what if, what if…” I’m beginning to think that becoming eligible for Social Security also makes us susceptible to social insecurity. When I was younger... Read more »

It's a shame we have so much trouble talking about shame

Shame is a sham. It’s not ‘you.’ Shame is a feeling we have about ourselves, a belief stored deep inside us that says we are inadequate or defective, regardless of how we live our lives to the contrary. Anyone who has ever blushed at a compliment has it; the hot flash revealing the uneasy disbelief,... Read more »

The peril of precious memories

Of all the scenes that represent life’s precious moments, holding my son in my arms for the first time is a cherished favorite. When I gently lifted him from the crib he was cautious, his watchful eyes speaking to the disappointment of previous encounters – less than three months old he had been shuttled about... Read more »

We interrupt this post with scalding rage, crippling frustration and a sense of bleak, hopeless despair

I find that sharing my rawest and most painful of feelings leaves me stronger and freer; relieved to be rid of the pain I had kept pushed down. An interesting essayist named Mark Nepo posits that what is not expressed is depressed. It seems the more we express, bringing out what is kept in, the... Read more »

I choose the ‘Mother of Exiles’ over the President of Exclusion

The Depression and World War II provided the background for my childhood years. I put on the khaki when the Korean Peninsula split in two, never entertaining the idea of avoiding service. When the war in Viet Nam divided our country I aligned with the Peaceniks but understood the Cold War argument that if Vietnam... Read more »