Inevitably, in one form or another, a student in every class asks the question: “Miss, were you a hippie?” It’s a question that floats on their internalized images of the type, all flower-loving nonviolence, and the readings that hold sway in our content–readings by Michelle Alexander and Angela Davis detailing the human poisons of the privatized prison industry, articles about resource wars in Africa, about housing toxins and educational disparities. I sense their disappointment when I tell them that I came of adolescence after the hippie years under Jimmy Carter. Vietnam had passed; Jimmy Carter was kind. The hippies had a crisis of relevance. Continue reading
Category Archives: relationships
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
If we live truly, we shall see truly. Ralph Waldo Emerson
I come often to this bar to read, to write, or to hang out with friends–often a combination of the three–and as many times as memory serves, I order the same drink, a Classic Manhattan, Makers… straight up. It is a mark of the up-and-coming-ness of this bar that resting on the side of my martini glass is a black plastic skewer impaling not the chemically colored, oddly rubbered maraschino cherry of my childhood, but a Luxardo maraschino named after the family that produced it, Italians growing their own Marasca varietal and stewing the fruit to syrupy perfection in naught but sugar and cherry juice. I could eat a whole jar. Continue reading
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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