Category Archives: civil liberties

Labor, 2018

A Labor Day letter I’ve been meaning to write for a while… Continue reading

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Profit or the Greater Good

The questions that we have to ask and to answer about that procession during this moment of transition are so important that they may well change the lives of men and women forever. For we have to ask ourselves, here and now, do we wish to join that procession, or don’t we? On what terms shall we join that procession? Above all, where is it leading us, the procession of educated men? …Let us never cease from thinking—what is this “civilisation” in which we find ourselves? What are these ceremonies and why should we take part in them? What are these professions and why should we make money out of them? Where in short is it leading us, the procession of the sons of educated men?

Virginia Woolf, Three Guineas, 1938 Continue reading

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Charity, 2018

It is December 31, 2017. I spent a little of this afternoon studying charities—their impact, alignment with my values, efficiency ratings, etc.—ultimately deciding on those that I would make part of my monthly giving for 2018. Continue reading

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Reading the Tarot

As late as high school, my older son’s ambition was to be President of the United States. In fact, under the heading “Objective” on his high school resume for Starbucks, he wrote something like, “I’m going to be the first gay president of the United States, but in the meantime, I would consider it a great privilege to serve coffee in your establishment.” He got the job. Continue reading

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Gardening, Farming and Net Neutrality

This is a re-post of a piece I wrote in 2014. Given recent events, it is as relevant and concerning as it was then–maybe more so. Please consider taking action at the link in the 2017 Update.

 

Inevitably we look upon society, so kind to you, so harsh to us, as an ill-fitting form that distorts the truth; deforms the mind; fetters the will.

Three Guineas.   Virginia Woolf, 1938.

 

This morning I rose with the dawn to spend a little time inspecting all the greens that emerged after the Mother’s Day snowstorm and several days of heavy rain. Surprises abound. Continue reading

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The Lupine Lady

Last month, I planted lupines–both seeds and plants–in the earth and in a concrete Italian statuary planter anchored in a new bed I’ve decided is to become a very drought-tolerant wildflower garden. I pulled the grass and weeds, turned and amended the soil, and dug a slice of earth for the edging that I hammered with stakes into the base of the trench. I planted seeds around and between the planter that I hoped would produce some spritely blue flax, mountain columbine, white cosmos, yarrow, blue penstemon, and desert marigold, and when I finished, I stood back imagining a certain fluidity to this garden… a fluidity of height and air and color that bends in a breeze and lifts to sunlight in an old-world style that speaks of joy and ease— that speaks of the simple beauty of being. That was the idea. Continue reading

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A Question

2014-12-14 14.12.39

And it is STILL my favorite Christmas story. Here’s hoping each of us wears what becomes us this holiday season.

mothlit

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. Then there’s my own parenting that seems to betray the truths of corruption.

When my older son was five, he had a passion for Mary Poppins. He loved her magic, her command, her…

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