Category Archives: Intimacy

The Power of Simple Touch

He lay there with only his diaper on, my grandson Dashiell. It was seven o’clock, time for his bedtime rituals. My wife, who adores this eight week-old child, is ready to give Dash his massage. She dips her hands in coconut oil and begins to stroke his stomach. She rubs his legs and presses her…

Two Words and a Wedding

  Tonight I will officiate at my second wedding in a week. I like weddings, but I always struggle with what to say. At baptisms, the parents in the front pews listen even though they’re often tussling with older siblings of the one in white. At funerals, people listen intently. Their stare—both skeptical and desperate—says:…

Monastic Gin

I am sitting with my father, playing gin rummy, but I might as well be sitting in a monastery or any retreat house. I am here for a week. Our days are simple and highly ritualized. Breakfast is at 8:30. (Two eggs on an English muffin, daily, for him.) We may converse for a while…

Elevator Rules

elevator 2

Everybody knows the Elevator Rules. Rule #1            Stand facing the door. Rule #2            Space yourself evenly in the elevator car. Rule #3            Stand still. Rule #4            Don’t talk to strangers. Rule #5            Keep your eyes on the floor indicator lights. There’s some wisdom in elevator etiquette, how to conduct yourself when you’re locked into a…

You Are Loved

blue madonna

It’s hard to believe, but in the first part of the twentieth century, psychologists and doctors were suspicious of nurses who wanted to pick up newborn infants in the hospital nursery and hold them. Some doctors observed that infants who were picked up by nurses got sick, and concluded that the close contact had transmitted…