Monthly Archives March 2022

Rethinking the Arc of Justice and Progress

Since almost from the beginning of recorded time, humankind has wedded itself to the notion of progress in all things. We need look no further than the experience of our own growth in stature cutting across every facet of our lives: the larger and stronger brains and bodies of maturity paving the way for our ever greater competence, confidence, creativity and life satisfaction.

Until, that is, our inevitable decline.

But that’s when our successors come to the rescue, extending our influence, keeping us alive in some figurative sense, each new generation building on the last and becoming even larger, stronger, faster, smarter, the sum total of human knowledge and history keeping us on a constant trajectory of expansion and progress.

The same principle applies on the individual psychological-spiritual level as well, in the arc of personal histories that we like to think move us steadily toward more wholeness...

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Four Puccini Arias To Die For (a Thousand Times)

No, the world will not be saved from its suffering, no matter the tireless efforts of peacemakers and people of goodwill to bring about, finally, the kind of heaven, or at least a sense of repose, to the earth that its human inhabitants have always dreamed and written and sung and painted about. But as we have seen countless times before, there can be great nobility in that suffering.

That does not mean we suffer any the less, nor that we have the final word on tragedy or the last laugh on oppressors who visit terrors upon us.

But it does mean that within our travails, whether in love or war or both, we come to a deeper sense of all that is life, all that is death, the whole riddle wrapped in the enigma and rolled into the package that presents itself to us upon birth and proclaims, “Here, make something of this, if you will, if you can, though suffer you must…”

Perhaps no art form elaborates upon the dept...

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The Quest for Freedom, From Ukraine to Ellis Island

With friends and intimates, we continue to talk of many things as we go about our daily lives. But those lives don’t feel quite the same as they did just two weeks ago, because our world no longer feels the same.

Barely under the surface of most every interaction, every move hither and yon tending to errands, exercise, shopping excursions and, poetically a couple of mornings ago, our first view of a newborn gifted by posterity to young friends, there looms the specter, the worry, the hope, for some sliver of good news from the battle unto death the Ukrainian people are currently waging against the Putin invaders.

It is a battle, make no mistake, that they are waging on behalf of us all.

Perhaps it is our own vulnerability, among other factors, that seems to be weighing most on us as we tiptoe toward a spring that may be delayed severely for our Ukrainian brothers and sisters, or perhaps never experienced a...

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