Category: Inspiration

Dealt

The documentary “Dealt,” about one of the world’s greatest card magicians, a Texan named Richard Turner, contains no gunshots, explosions or, for that matter, violence of any kind. But it never fails to fascinate, mesmerize and inspire. If there’s a “super-hero” character in this movie, it’s Turner, who practices card moves — false shuffles, false...

The Urban Farmstead

We call the place we live “Vista Street Farmstead.” It’s a house in Hollywood, one block from Sunset Boulevard, with a front and back yard, maybe 1/16th of an acre? But almost every available square foot of dirt is dedicated to growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Blessed with copious sunshine throughout the day – and...

Earl Flowers Can Read

Earl Flowers can read. He can read this sentence. He can read every word on this page. If he doesn’t immediately recognize one of the words, he can sound it out phonetically – or, if it’s completely unfamiliar, he knows how to use a dictionary to teach himself. When Earl reads out loud – when...

Role Models

By many measures, Donald Trump, his entire cabinet of self-dealing robber barons, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — the whole lot are extraordinarily successful people. (By many other measures, they’re wildly unsuccessful, but let’s not quibble.) We can all agree that when our children are grown, when they become...

War Is Over If You Want It

Peace-loving, football-watching, patriotic-minded Americans abhor terrorism. Even when it takes the form of fanatical Sunnis bombing mosques filled with fanatical Shiites, we deplore and condemn senseless violence carried out against innocent civilians. We seem to understand intuitively that people who aren’t wearing uniforms while they’re murdered are victims, whereas those that are properly attired die...

The Story of YEAR 14

In 2009, I started writing a book that I hoped would be timeless, something that could be read many years from today and still feel relevant and meaningful. Eight years later, that book is now in print. Ironically, early readers are calling it “timely.” When I completed the first draft of Year 14 in 2009,...

Prayer for Another Ten

Let me be patient and let my kindness overflow the normal bounds of decency. Let me be patient and let my kindness bathe your wounds. Let me be patient and let my kindness radiate into the darkest corners. Let me be a salve. Let me be patient. Let me love you for another decade, another...

The Joy of Standing

More than four years ago, we got rid of the desk chair in our office, replacing the old  cushioned throne with a Swiss ball, one of those large, semi-squishy orbs that force the sitter to engage her core. The ball did wonders for our back. But the old sitting problem persisted: our hip flexors, locked in an...

Elegy for American Values

Every year around this time, as we gather to overeat and watch “bombs bursting in air” — and what better way to symbolize America’s chief national fetish? — our celebrations of liberation from the British Crown offer an opportunity to review some of the reasons why it’s great to be an American. Aside from a ridiculously...