Finding Your Soul
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When Home Isn’t Where You Left It
I think of South Dakota, the place I left on my way to college, as Garrison Keillor’s Lake Woebegone: “The little town that time forgot and the decades cannot improve.” But, as I found on my visit last week, time has not unremembered my old home. It’s both the same as ever, and yet dramatically […]
Struck By Awe
A few days ago I walked to the rim of the Grand Canyon and looked over the edge. I felt a twinge in my stomach and my mouth dropped slightly open. My first visit—I don’t know what I was expecting. I had seen countless pictures, but of course no flat image, measured in inches, could […]
The Birthday Willow
May 16, 2023. I kneel beside a small hole in the earth. Today is our daughter Maggy’s fortieth birthday and we have given her, according to her wish, a weeping willow to mark the occasion. Since, in a fit of spring madness, I have just planted over forty trees and bushes around our home, I […]
The Commencement Ceremony For Today. And Every Day After That.
Of all the rites of spring, commencement exercises are among the best. I have an aisle seat for this glorious graduation ceremony, joining hundreds of families and friends, kids dressed too well for their comfort, flower bouquets ready for joyous presentation. The music swells and the procession begins. Banners emblazoned with heraldic symbols and Latin […]
AI Is Here. How Can I Know What’s Real?
The headlines these days are splashed with scary stories of AI and the end of reality. Soon, the experts warn, no one will be able to tell what images or videos are real and what is generated by an all-knowing machine. The AI threat is merely the latest, most intense form of unreality to wash […]
When Memory Becomes Our Master
Nobel winning psychologist and economist Daniel Kahneman tells this story. A man is listening to a symphony, and it’s glorious. Three movements that build toward a brilliant climax. And then, just as the symphony is ending there is a horrid screeching sound. “It ruined the whole thing,” the man says. “Wiped out the whole experience.” […]
Spring, the most yearned-for season, is also the most crazy-making. If you have a back yard or a garden, a kind of obsession can take over. You go to a nursery and imagine this in that little empty corner of the front garden, and that in the bed beside the potting shed. You don’t have […]
Who Came Out Of The Empty Tomb?
Here’s Easter in two contrasting images. The first is the kind of Easter picture most of us are familiar with. It’s the lone Jesus whooshing up out of the tomb. There’s nothing wrong about the image. Jesus certainly defeated death. But, in their new book, “Resurrecting Easter,” John Dominic Crossan and Sarah Crossan identify this […]