When the incomparable composer John Williams was shown a cut of "Schindler's List," and Steven Spielberg asked to him to compose the score, Williams was so moved that he humbly said, "You need a better composer." To which Spielberg replied, "I know, but they're all dead." Spielberg himself had put off directing the movie for … Continue reading “I’m not good enough.” “No, you’re not. But there’s no one else to do it.”
My 6-year-old tried to play chess with me at their school’s STEM night last week. I didn’t realize he knew the rules, and it turns out he doesn’t, because he produced a secret weapon: a 6-legged spider he’d made out of clay in his class earlier. “This is spider-guy,” he announced. “And he can eat … Continue reading They can keep changing the rules, but we don’t have to be obedient. (Plus 3 sneak peeks into Book 8)
What if, instead of worrying about the world and its expectations, we focused on only a couple of key items and let the rest of world just . . . go on its way? Think about that: maybe there’s only a handful of things we really need to worry about, and as for the millions … Continue reading What if we just quit bothering with the world? The easiness of essentialism.
I didn’t realize until I was older that we had a weird tradition in our house. It was mandatory that when a canning jar popped, no matter what part of the house my mother was in, she’d shout, “Thank you!” If she wasn’t home, that duty fell to me, and I didn’t always want to … Continue reading Two logical reasons why I bizarrely thank canning jars . . . and everything else
There are revolutions happening all around us in America, but we don't always recognize them. But once we do, we realize we can be part of them. If we dare. Most of these revolutions arise from breaking with the status quo of our ancestors. And not just talking about change, but actually being part of … Continue reading America’s the land of revolutions; let’s start another one!
I hate guns. They terrify me. They kill, indiscriminately, even in the hands of the most skilled and trained users. I hate their shape, their noise, and the smell of the cleaning agents. My neighborhood is filled with gun-lovers. Hunters, cops, concealed-weapon holders—I’m surrounded by them. I wish I knew who stored loaded handguns in … Continue reading I hate guns, but there’s something I hate even more (A pacifist’s confession)
Recently a mother of an autistic son in the Salt Lake Valley found the following stickers on her car around her Autistic Child sign: What caught my eye, however, was this sticker. Exactly what’s this supposed to mean? It means that the perpetrator is embarrassingly ignorant, on many levels. Ignorant of autism. Ignorant of appropriate … Continue reading Excuse me, but your ignorance is showing
I understand that, not being a native southerner, my opinion about the Confederate flag likely isn’t worth a slice of pecan pie. I was told by the Wal-Mart greeter, when I first moved to rural Virginia, that I was a “Yankee.” There was a slight sneer in her accent when she didn’t hear any drawling … Continue reading The South Deserves Better than the Confederate Flag
This is my father’s coffin, July 2, 2015. These are the soldiers folding the flag that covered him. And while I watched the ceremony yesterday, I was struck that not only had my father died, but my country is dying, too. I worry deeply about America. I agree with so many others who have written more … Continue reading I worry that America is dying
"Why didn’t you do anything to stop him?" That’s what people frequently asked my father. He immigrated to America in the 1950s, and had a subtle yet clear German accent. “Why didn’t you stop Hitler when you noticed he was ruining everything? He completely changed Germany, and you did nothing about it!” My dad would … Continue reading Why didn’t you do anything to stop him?