• grey movie strip
    E,  Fun & Inspiration,  Inner Critic,  Self care,  Thinking

    Our Friend Oscar and His Inner Critic

    Once upon a time we had a friend, a guy named Oscar. Like most — maybe all — of us, he had an inner critic. The problem was, he did not know that his inner critic could become an ally. Our friend struggled and stayed stuck — convinced that those ugly words the inner critic put into his head were, in fact, true. One day, somebody gave our friend a book. A very good book. An award-winning book. At first Oscar wasn’t sure why he had…

  • selective focus photography of black bird
    Happiness,  Thinking

    Murmuration, Mozart and Mysteries

    Murmuration. I’m not sure what caught my attention first — the word or the birds. It was probably the massive flocks of birds looping and swirling like leaves in the fall or, even better, meeting  them when autumn breezes decide to tease the fallen. Their merger brings to mind the trompe l’oeil of an Escher drawing: initially simple in appearance but complex in execution. I’m always excited to discover special words like the ones for the smell of a good book or the earth following a rainstorm. There’s…

  • Spider-Man leaning on concrete brick while reading book
    Special Topics,  Thinking,  Writing and Reading

    What is Banned Books Week and Why You Should Care

    How often do you think about censorship? Banned books? I tend to think of censorship as it pertains to history — something that hasn’t happened much since the McCarthy era, right? So would you be surprised to find out that the American Library Association maintains a list of challenged (and sometimes banned) books by year? I was. I am disgusted by the concept of censorship. It’s not difficult to connect dots between banning certain books and trends in discrimination. Besides, learning to sort through ideas with which…

  • Happiness,  Self care,  Thinking

    When a Breeze Becomes a Sigh

    Everyone in the northeast knows where to find “that tree” — the one that shows its vivid fall colors long before the others in the area. The ones that make us sigh with both resignation and delight.They live in neighborhoods, on street corners, beside streams and ponds, mountainsides and in certain corners of certain farms. Upon seeing them, my imagination tends to take me on a wild ride or two. I think of “those trees” personifying the story of Paul Revere’s midnight ride, “the snowflakes are…