On November 15, if I live that long, I will complete my allotted seventy years. It’s not a limit I take literally; there are plenty of exceptions on either side of the number. But it’s a good reminder of the brevity of life and of the certainty that it will end, and of the need […]

In the very bad year 1973 – things were not as bad as they are today, but they were bad nevertheless – one man’s short, simple letter struck a note of hope and encouragement that continues to reverberate today, especially today, when it’s needed. In that year, inflation was running more than six percent annually […]

In the wake of Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, I’m looking for any flicker of light, any hope, in what seems to be a land of deep darkness. There’s only one place where I think I have any chance of finding it. The Washington Post (“Rock bottom: Supreme Court […]

Should I delete my social media accounts right now? That’s the question columnist Oliver Burkeman posed recently in The Guardian. An argument for retreating from social media: According to his summary of a book by Jaron Lanier, they “have sucked us into an addictive spiral of outrage, isolation and extremism, while making it ever harder […]

“Be at peace with your own soul; then heaven and earth will be at peace with you. Enter eagerly into the treasure house that is within you, and so you will see the things that are in heaven; for there is but one single entry to them both. The ladder that leads to the kingdom […]

What’s on your list of things to do? Mine includes chores like mow the lawn; power wash the fence and garage; clear the piles of paper from my study. What does your list include? Here are some things that were on Leonardo da Vinci’s list of things to do in 1510: calculate the measurement of […]

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.” (William Blake)

At the end of every day, Flipboard sends me a summary of the day’s news, a list of stories they consider most important in the latest news cycle. Today’s list included stories about Google’s $5-billion fine; accounts by the Thai boys of their ordeal in the cave; Elon Musk’s apology for what he said about […]

We need ballast for our souls, moral weight that will stabilize us in the raging political storm. Poetry, as are all the arts, is the main part of that ballast for me. “When power leads man toward arrogance,” President John Kennedy said in 1963 at the groundbreaking for the Robert Frost Library at Amherst College, […]

It saddens me when a man who has spent the better part of his life embodying the light of transcendent hope loses even a modicum of that hope, a loss to which a friend recently confessed because of what’s happening under the Trump administration. (I will continue to refer to this president primarily as Ozzie, […]