William the Graduate
This essay originally appeared in Palo Alto Patch. I am reposting it in honor of all of the parents who are sending their beloveds off to college this month. Yes, one year later, and it is easier, much easier, but still bittersweet.
It’s graduation week around town. We’re hearing lots of speeches about new beginnings, following your dreams, and choosing roads less traveled. Students are told repeatedly “it’s all ahead of you.” But for those of us with children in cap and gown, it’s not all about the future. For us, it’s also about the past. Continue reading
Last week, after the publication of my essay on my gay son and his dream of being a good father, I received an outpouring of support for both me and for him. Theresa from New Jersey wrote, “the tide is changing.” Given the response I received, I think she is right.
One of the best gifts of all was from Dr. Sayer, an adolescent psychologist. She gave me a Liebster Award. No, I’d never heard of it. Before she’d received it, she hadn’t either. Here is what she wrote upon being awarded by Amy of Mom on Purpose:
To accept the Liebster, I have to do 3 things. First, I have to answer 5 questions posed by Amy. Then, I have to nominate 5 blogs I really like for the award, and those 5 blogs should have under 200 followers. Finally, I have to pose 5 questions for my nominees to answer.
This essay originally appeared in Palo Alto Patch.
Reinstating The Draft Would Benefit Us All
It seemed so innocuous, just a little box at the bottom of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). But the box was so much more than it appeared, because when my recently turned 18-year-old son checked said box, it meant he was now officially registered for the draft.
I wouldn’t have given it much thought until I realized the draft is in the news again. At the Aspen Ideas Festival hosted earlier this month, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the former top commander of international forces in Afghanistan, argued for reinstatement of the draft.
He said, “I think if a nation goes to war, every town, every city needs to be at risk. You make that decision and everybody has skin in the game.” Continue reading
This column originally appeared on Palo Alto Patch.
Like most around town, we’re headed off on vacation soon. I have a long to-do list including:
- Stop delivery of the mail and newspaper
- Take the dog to the vet
- Get my hair cut
- Hire someone to feed the cat
- Buy sun block
- Worry about the Congo
Yep, you read that right, the Congo. You remember, that’s the place where five million men, women, and children have died over the past fifteen years as a result of the country’s ongoing civil conflict. The place once called the “rape capital of the world.” The place where, in 2009, a United Nations brokered peace treaty was supposed to have ended the infighting. The very same place where said peace treaty gave accused war criminal, Bosco Ntaganda, his very own seat at the negotiations.
Now, General Bosco Ntaganda has decided to mutiny and is busy kidnapping young boys to build his army. Soon we’ll be hearing again about the vicious rapes of young women and girls, the beheadings, the senseless murders, the list goes on. Continue reading
This essay originally appeared in Palo Alto Patch.
I don’t know where I lost it. Perhaps on the train between Verona and Florence. Or at the restaurant overlooking the hills of Tuscany. It might have been at the nightmare-inducing Torture Museum in San Gigmignano. But it didn’t matter where it was, because now that my cell phone was gone, the rest of my trip to Italy would be about this unplanned and unwanted digital diet.
This essay originally appeared on Palo Alto Patch.
I wouldn’t call it an obsession exactly, but the killing of Trayvon Martin has occupied much of my attention lately. Perhaps it is the senseless waste of a young life, or the fact that yet another parent has needlessly lost their beloved child, or the incontrovertible racist undertones, or the role unbidden fear played in his death (or all of the above) that has nurtured my mania. But while I have spent an inordinate amount of time reading news articles and watching one too many news videos on the case, not once have I confronted a meaningful discussion about gun control. Continue reading
One of my favorite artist’s sites is Gwarlingo by Michelle Aldridge. She recently created a post on Ansel Adams and used a letter he wrote one of his closest friends as an opportunity to ponder the nature of love. I have taken the liberty of copying the letter that inspired Michelle to share with you. Please take the time to discover her site. By the way, the Welsh word, Gwarlingo, can be translated to mean “the movement before the moment.” I hope you are as moved by her work as I am.
June 19, 1937
A strange thing happened to me today. I saw a big thundercloud move down over Half Dome, and it was so big and clear and brilliant that it made me see many things that were drifting around inside of me; things that related to those who are loved and those who are real friends.
The essay originally appeared in Palo Alto Patch.
When I was five, we traveled back to my mother’s home country of Norway to visit family. While there, we joined the nation in celebrating its National Day, an annual tradition marked by parades and speeches. I remember ticker tape falling like snow as I watched from the window of my grandfather’s office building. But it was the sea of red, white, and blue flags dancing in the breeze on that cool May day, hundreds of them held high by parade participants and viewers alike, that I remember most of all. Continue reading
My neighbor, Steve Jobs, has been in the news lately. The talk of the town is the recent announcement he will be stepping aside to let other seeds grow at Apple. The business press, the general press, the blogosphere, and just about everybody else has waxed poetic about the “greatest CEO of all time” saying that this “boy wonder” has shaped the very nature of our lives with his genius.
On Failure: “The model for personal development is antithetical to profesional success,” says Designer Milton Glaser.