Category: Inspiration

Poem: The Best Time to Think

The best time to think of thoughts untainted by prejudice or sorrow is in the twilight of consciousness, that murky fugue land situated between responsibility and fantasy, where the imperatives of earning and making and contributing fade into the purple black void of imagination. The best time to think of thoughts untainted by hatred or...

Working Hard for Indolence

We’re taught that indolence, if not an outright sin, is an unattractive quality that ambitious strivers should abhor. The byproduct of laziness — i.e., nothing — doesn’t enrich the world in any way, whereas effort and action, even when fruitless or irrelevant, keeps the turbines of consumption pumping. Work: good. Indolence: bad. Yet, for many...

What Makes a Hero?

As the casualties pile up in Iraq, we’ve grown accustomed to hearing young men and women described as heroes, which would seem to suggest that there’s something heroic in perishing for obscure financial-political reasons that no one can quite identify. Recently, as suspicion has grown that certain Major League Baseball sluggers hit their record-breaking home...

The Marathon

More than 25,000 people ran through the streets of Los Angeles yesterday. Their journey, whether completed in a little more than two hours or as much as seven, covered 26+ miles and a panoply of human emotions. Completing a marathon is one of those rare life events that are so fraught with symbolism and meaning...

The Bad Thing About Dying

Except for suicidal people, those desperate souls who wish for nothing more than oblivion, none of us wants to die. Why? Many religions teach us that there is a “better place” awaiting us when we depart this earthly plane. Whether it’s heaven, nirvana, or some parallel universe where Louis Armstrong provides the soundtrack and ice...

Specializing in Everything

Ours is the age of specialists. To be better than average at anything requires a mono-maniacal dedication to that one thing. Should you wish to be a successful professional golfer, you need to devote most of your waking hours to hitting dimpled orbs. Should you wish to be a successful oboist, you need to devote...

Never Too Late

In addition to being a sublime Victorian novelist, George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) was a reliable source of refrigerator magnet epigrams about subjects as diverse and enduring as friendship, love, and destiny. One of our favorites is her thought about fulfilling one’s dreams: “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”...

All Five Senses

There’s some sort of problem in my left eye at the moment, the details of which I won’t bother to enumerate. Suffice to say it’s concerning enough that I’m going to see a doctor — something I almost never do. And then, one presumes, everything will be all right. I couldn’t help, though, imagining what...

A Blessed Life

Capitalism requires that we consumers feel as though we never have enough. Our lives will be fuller, richer,betterĀ if only we might acquire, chew, possess that which we don’t yet have. The media reminders that constantly bombard our senses teach us that more money, more fame, more fabulousness will magically enlighten our days as friendship, love...

How to Get Into Heaven

For most of my life, I was under the impression that the surest way for us human sinners to gain entry to heaven (whatever or wherever that may be) was to lead a good life filled with good works and good fellowship. Goodness would beget goodness. I learned this past weekend that my assumption was...