American Distemper: On Not Letting Our Daubers Down

Roger Craig was an avuncular figure in the sometimes rough-and-tumble, sometimes over-sentimentalized world of major league baseball. He was a better-than-his-record starting pitcher mid-20th century, enjoying a 12-year career and four World Series appearances before staying in the game first as a scout and coach and then through a successful decade-long run as a manager.

It was during his eight-season run (1985-92) managing the San Francisco Giants in that cosmopolitan city that the slightly drawling Durham, North Carolina native became known and celebrated for a down-home phrase to keep his players’ spirits up, especially when they were leaving the clubhouse after a tough loss, or worse, several losses in a row.

“Don’t let your daubers down,” he would tell them, employing that delightful, if somewhat mysterious-origin word “daubers” to here mean their spirits, confidence and passion for the game.

One ne...

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Ten Essential Truths About January 6

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1. It was the only time in American history a president refused the peaceful transfer of power.

2.  It was the only time in American history a president refused the peaceful transfer of power.

3. It was the only time in American history a president refused the peaceful transfer of power.

4. It was the only time in American history a president refused the peaceful transfer of power.

5. It was the only time in American history a president refused the peaceful transfer of power.

6. It was the only time in American history a president refused the peaceful transfer of power.

7. It was the only time in American history a president refused the peaceful transfer of power.

8. It was the only time in American history a president refused the peaceful transfer of power.

9. It was the only time in American history a president refused the peaceful transfer of power.

10...

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Kick-Ass Black Woman Tells It: Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise”

Before she died in 2014, Maya Angelou had for decades enjoyed oil wells pumping in her living room, gold mines spewing riches in her backyard, and for a nice sexy touch, she appeared to keep diamonds at the meeting of her thighs. (No word on whether they came from a diamond mine in her bedroom…)

We know this because she described these mighty assets in her 1978 volume from Random House, “And Still I Rise: A Book of Poems,” one selection simply dropping the “And” to make “Still I Rise” the near-title poem in the collection. (The poem is printed in full below.)

Angelou was a seeming force of nature over the course of her 50+ year career as a memoirist, essayist, poet and civil rights activist. Morally serious, unafraid, measured and eloquent, her voice resounded both on the page and into microphones, making her compulsively listenable.

She was a kind of James Earl Jones of the literary set, giving nothing aw...

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Ninth Annual Holiday Photo Gallery

Nine revolutions around the sun for “Traversing” this week, which lands us on the doorstep of our Ninth Annual Holiday Photo Gallery. Today, we will wander as we please, linger where we want, and emerge all the better in the spiritual and aesthetic nourishment that is so fundamental to our very survival as self-reflective creatures with an eye always scanning ahead toward more joyful horizons.

May these shots from stellar photographers around the world be worth more than any 1,000 words I could pull together as we inch ahead, ready or not—because time just does not care—toward 2022.

With the good news being: still here!

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Poof! Good-bye, 2021…by Doug Wheller

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She’s a lady—and an imposing one, at least from this angle…by dr.larsbergmann

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Apparently not his first rodeo…by Klim Musalimov

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Just another crazed cumulus…by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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Into the mystic in Mya...

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What Is Sacred Space?

At this time of year when much of the world is observing events steeped in ancient lore and enchantments, what can we say about the settings and places where we perceive something as sacred? What do we even mean by “sacred space?” What qualities must any space reflect to be deemed “sacred?” Who decides what those qualities are?

Years ago, “U.S. News & World Report” ran a lengthy cover story headlined, “Sacred Places.” Its rather exhaustive list of such places contained all the usual suspects, though it was dominated by buildings and monuments.

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.

The Golden Temple in India.

Stonehenge, Karnak in Egypt, the temple of Confucius, the entire city of Mecca.

Interestingly, there was little said about awe-inspiring natural settings—the Grand Canyon, Mt...

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