Archive for the ‘Mind & Brain’ category

Being there

I’m falling for Tara.  Tara Brach.  The woman who combines Western psychology with Eastern spirituality.  I’ve alleviated the boredom of my morning physical therapy for back pain by listening to her Radical Acceptance audiobook. It’s kind of awesome.  She has ways of dealing with life, the universe and everything.  It’s an ideology, but not one […]

Yes, I’ve made it.

As one who considers 35 to be middle-aged (I’ve been past this milestone for seven years now), I’ve wondered when I’d start really feeling it. Sure, there are the physical symptoms, but I’ve had the creaky joints and bad back since I was about 30.  What I mean is, I wasn’t quite sure when I’d […]

Travel summery pt. 6: New Jersey, the dream state

I was a scared little kid, and since NJ is where I grew up, the state still holds a greater degree of creepiness than any place I’ve since been.  Even if I weren’t from there, however, Jersey would likely put me ill at ease. I shot these during a walk on the beach.  The fog […]

Unwarranted exercise

It seems like my new friends here are determined not to let me go gently into that good fall of keeping chin-stroking office hours and toddling back to my house for a grilled cheese and soup. Let’s hunt down a new dive bar! Let’s go see a play rehearsal! Let’s join a local meeting about […]

I am sad Amy Winehouse is dead

I am sad Amy Winehouse is dead. I said this to a coworker on Monday morning. He said, “People die of addiction every day, why should her death be any sadder than anyone else’s.” He responded quickly, as if he had thought about it. Throughout the week I have heard bits and pieces of conversation. […]

Are we forgetting art?

Obviously, some among us are getting that art made all the time, doing the painting and the playing and the poeming for the rest of us. Making art might be your job, your hobby, or something you end up doing because your kid needs a story, a song, or a drawing buddy. Some of us […]

Night owl

As I write these words, it’s 4:37 am. Again. Sure, 4:37 comes twice a day every day, but I’ve been making quite a chum out of this particular time of day lately. We’ve been having a lot of dates recently, going hot and heavy. Sometimes I think maybe I’m not going to see 4:37, but […]


I went on a walking tour of the West Campus of St. Elizabeths (intentional no apostrophe) in Washington, D.C. This is a historic asylum.  On the East Campus, there is an active mental hospital housing John Hinckley.  The West Campus is owned by the federal government and is being developed as the headquarters for the […]

Siddhartha on the prairie

The American midwest is the last place I expected to find Buddha. It’s too pragmatic, too meat-and-potatoes for a spiritual practice whose ultimate goal is elimination of the self. The people here are friendly, solid, circumspect, sincere. For nearly twenty years I have lived like an expatriate, shrouded in my New England cynicism and snark. […]

So funny you should ask

One morning, seemingly out of the blue, I thought, I should call a colleague I have not contacted in months. I should call her now. I did. She said, so funny you should call, I was just thinking about you and wanted to ask you something important. I read a memo at work that mentioned […]