An Ethical Crisis As Well As a Health Crisis

We’re in an ethical crisis as much as a health crisis. The pandemic is a massive health crisis emerging from an ongoing climate/environmental crisis, leading to a world economic crisis, and resulting in a global humanitarian crisis. The pandemic highlights the ethical conflicts that have led to all of these crises. We, as individuals and … Continue reading An Ethical Crisis As Well As a Health Crisis

Poem of the Month: April 2020

THE WEIGHINGby Jane Hirshfield The heart’s reasonsseen clearly,even the hardestwill carryits whip-marks and sadnessand must be forgiven. As the drought-starvedeland forgivesthe drought-starved lionwho finally takes her,enters willingly thenthe life she cannot refuse,and is lion, is fed,and does not remember the other. So few grains of happinessmeasured against all the darkand still the scales balance. The … Continue reading Poem of the Month: April 2020

Worst-Case Scenario: Reflections on Survival

I have always had an aversion to the once-popular game, Worst Case Scenario because it “challenges players to use their survival instincts and skills to outlast their opponents” and to video games that pit players against each other in a battle to survive all sorts of threatening situations. I dislike games like this partly because … Continue reading Worst-Case Scenario: Reflections on Survival

On Suffering and the Fear of Death

The pandemic has spun my ongoing existential crisis into a force 5 hurricane. I’m practicing mindfulness to cope. The practice offers me many moments of calm in the storm, but I possess an overly busy brain, and I’ve continued grappling with big issues of human experience—suffering, death, love, and meaning—and I spin out into the … Continue reading On Suffering and the Fear of Death

Bottomless Tea

I sat at a formica table at Red’s, spinning my coffee mug around on the paper placemat, still recovering from the significant challenge of getting my wheelchair into the diner’s makeshift accessible entrance (people eating actually had to get up and the server had to move a table so I could get by…aaagh…but that’s a … Continue reading Bottomless Tea

On Choices

A few months ago I drove to New Hampshire, impetuously, to buy a drum I didn’t need and couldn’t really afford. I spent several hours on the sun porch of an old farmhouse at the end of a dirt road. The drum man understood my need to touch and play so many—from small to enormous, … Continue reading On Choices

The Garden

I wrote this essay almost twenty-five years ago and have been thinking of it as I plant this year’s seeds, in a different garden in a different yard.  Under the guidance of Mrs. Keller, we kindergarteners first learned to grow vegetables, tucking handfuls of beans into the folds of damp towels. The sprouting of their … Continue reading The Garden

Mothering

Sarah had flung herself into the easy chair next to mine upon arriving home after a particularly difficult day at school. Then my fourteen-year-old daughter erupted, sobbing and screaming with frustration. I sat with her. After the flood abated, she sniffled, “Can I sit in your lap?” She draped her tall body over my smaller … Continue reading Mothering