what if the presumption of one‑another’s goodness is our undoing?

I was thinking about our president and how he got to where he is today. As he becomes more and more the ruthless dictator one associates with totalitarian regimes, it’s painfully ironic that his success has been based on the very qualities of decency that he is hell-bent on destroying.

Donald J. Trump as a child

Donald J. Trump as a child

Where would Donald Trump be, without the generosity shown him by others; yet he possesses absolutely no generosity. How could he have swindled so many others, without the good faith we daily practice and rely upon; yet he spews bad faith as consistently as he breathes. How does he continue to get away with lie after destructive lie, but for the value most of us place on honesty? Continue reading

the reading

I have told no one this story—not until this moment.

It was 1973. I was 22 years old, hitchhiking around the Mediterranean Sea, with no itinerary and no time constraints. It was my hope that, by surrendering all expectations, I might acquire some insight into what to do in life.

In Nice, France, three English musicians invited me to stay with them for a bit. With a place to stash my guitar and other stuff, I was free to walk the city streets, something I treasured more than visiting museums and historic battle sites.

On a slightly run-down street, I walked by a girl not older than seventeen but whose smile had the air of an old soul. Continue reading

joking about scary, contentious stuff

So…I have been cutting loose on Facebook lately. Previously, I was really careful not to post shit that could invite a flame war, or alienate someone who might otherwise be my next client.

But the national political situation has me very riled up and needing an outlet for those emotions.

First I posted some serious stuff about the need to impeach Trump. Then I got tired of my own pontificating and decided to lighten up a bit. I made this meme, which I then posted to my page:

Some people’s comments expressed being offended, Continue reading

stray dog

[This piece is so-titled because the story wasn’t over when I thought it was, but instead followed me like a stray dog determined to tag along.]

It was the Seventies. I was at Brandeis University, just outside Cambridge, Massachusetts. So yes, I took LSD. I was alone in the university’s Rose Art Museum that was like a drop of pond water: tiny and unassuming until you slid it under a microscope and then suddenly there was life of every ilk. In the Rose-Art-Museum Drop-of-Pond-Water, I was rubbing elbows with scores of the greatest artists of the past century.

Face-to-face with an abstract impressionist canvas, I said “I know you. You will now become pure light.” I stared. The colors throbbed, swirled, and melted into solid white.

On a different day, another student and I dropped acid and went to visit Shapiro Hall, a girls’ dorm. My behavior was very normal. I was surprised when a female student I knew came up to me and asked point-blank “Are you guys tripping?” In my most composed voice I responded “Why would you ask that?” And she replied “Your friend has been staring at the wall for thirty minutes.” Continue reading