Monthly Archives: November 2012

A Question

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I was listening to NPR yesterday—an interview with Sir Tom Stoppard, screenwriter for the new Anna Karenina movie. When asked about the meaning of love he posed the question, “Are we born self-interested and we have to learn to be good? Or are we born selfless and merely corrupted by competition and institution?” I’m guessing there’s not any black or white answer to the question, though I was taught in my young religious days that we were born in total depravity with the need, of course, to be saved in an institution that just happens to make a lot of money off such doctrines—a truth that seems to belie the first argument in support of the second. And even looking to something like my own parenting, I find the dregs that betray the likelihood of corruption.

 

When my older son was five, he had a passion for Mary Poppins. He loved her magic, her command, her wisdom. He loved her clothes. So it wasn’t much of a surprise that on a fall afternoon some thirteen years ago, after closing the TV cabinet on the gazillionth viewing of the movie, he declared, “Mommy, I want to be Mary Poppins for Halloween.” Continue reading

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A Moth

In her poem, Luna, Mary Oliver wrote, I live in the open mindedness of not knowing enough about anything. Nice place to live.  And I’ve tried to imagine what that kind of openness looks like—bitterness and judgment dissolving into simple curiosity without any crutch of assumption. It’s lovely when I’m there, like the quiet, purposeful fluttering of Oliver’s moth. Continue reading

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A Year

This was the year of my first relationship with a woman. For the better part of the last fifteen months, we talked and teased and touched in trendy Denver restaurants and local dives, at Red Rocks, Chautauqua, and winter concert venues, at parks and in gardens, at groceries and coffee shops. And in the privacy of the places we called home, we loved with a tender passion I’d only ever dreamed of. Then, about a week ago, she packed up and left the state. Continue reading

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