Category: Life

On the Death of a Young Woman

Yesterday news came that a young woman we had known briefly, call her Miss C, had died after several years of intermittently successful treatments for various cancers. She was 30. For as long as we were acquainted with her — only the last two years of her life — she was either suffering from her illness...

Poem: The Latest

Off in mad pursuit of the hottest, the latest, the mostest — and we say that not ironically at all because As anyone who knows anything about culture — or Culture, capitalized ironically, like a Tom Wolfe neologism — knows that Getting more If not all Is the point of all this scurrying. Much like...

The Lords of Power

The chief goal of almost all elected officials, clergymen, CEOs, talent agents, executive vice-presidents, district managers, assistant managers, and onward down the chain of command, is to lord power over others. One can detect a quasi-sexual glee in the ministrations and machinations of those who can affect the lives of others. To the power-holder, the...

Poem: Wrestling with Conundrums

If nothing matters as the nihilists insist, why does every slight Every snub Every slip of decorum Sting like brusquely touched sunburned skin? If turn thy other cheek is indeed the best policy, as readers of the good book know, Why does the human heart beat so passionately for revenge and Retribution That one imagines...

Never Let it End

If it’s true that time flies when you’re having fun, then I’m frightened that my life will be over before I’m ready. Lately my days have been full — overflowing even — with challenging fun, with creativity, with laughter and beauty. I catch myself thinking, “I wish this would never end,” and I feel a...

What Is This Thing Called Luck?

Motivated strivers brought up on the encouraging nostrums of business seminars and personal “empowerment” training know that luck is when preparation meets opportunity. In this model, luck isn’t an unseen, fickle agent. It’s something that doesn’t exist — and if it does, it can be conquered with hard work and cleverness. People who play the...

Deciphering Intelligent Design

Proponents of “intelligent design” — which is another way of saying “opponents of the theory of evolution” — were pleased by President Bush’s recent remarks that “both sides ought to be properly taught” in public schools. Here was the most powerful person in the world lending credence to a wacky notion that has been widely...

Time is Money

Of all the cliches one encounters regularly, “time is money” may be the one uttered most frequently and with the largest degree of conviction, particularly by people who charge by the hour. The concept is that the two are interchangeable. After all one IS the other. If only it were so. Our maniacal pursuit of...

Golf Abides

A couple of days after watching Jack Nicklaus play his last round of competitive major championship golf , we got a letter from an 83-year-old woman we’d met on a golf course. She reminded us that her regular foursome, composed of friends from high school, met every week to hack it around. “We really love...

The Appeal of Obsessives

Each week at the local library, where I serve as a volunteer literacy tutor, a man comes in and sits down at the table across from ours. I assume he’s homeless, because his skin and clothes are dirty, and his hair unkempt. (Since he has a full beard and lacks an iPod, he’s probably not...