I remember a time when death was an anomaly in my life. A grandparent’s passing celebrated with an Irish wake and a funeral mass. Now it seems to haunt the everyday, wagging its finger like a told-you-so teacher. Read more
Why do I do it? I asked myself this question many times during the last few months while rehearsing a new play for a decidedly short run in Milford, PA. The play, “Four Score and Seven,” was written by a theatre buddy of mine, John Klemeyer. We once played opposite each other as the murderous brother/sister, husband/wife team in Ira Levin’s thriller “Veronica’s Room” on another way-off-Broadway stage in the Catskills. So that was one reason in favor of the dozens of car trips between Narrowsburg, NY and Milford and New York City to rehearsals and finally, performances. Read more
When he was younger, my son would pepper me with questions about how to do things. “How can I make a one-man flying machine?” was one that piqued his interest early on—enough so that he bypassed Mom’s knowledge base and went straight to the President of the United States (then Bill Clinton). Bill wrote back, telling Conor that NASA was working hard on things like that and that Conor should study hard and stay in school. But Conor was a dreamer. He was a creative kid who could be kept happy and busy with a lump of Sculpey clay or a pencil and a pad of paper. Read more
Maple catkins droop as tender Amelanchier blossoms herald the arrival of shad plowing upstream to deposit their lucre of roe in the riverbank. Everywhere forsythia and daffodils arch their slender necks in a riot of yellow, proclaiming the end of another gray winter. Redbuds will follow magnolias, then dogwood, each one taking its turn in the unfolding until all are green again, the architecture of branches obscured by leaves that sway and float in the breeze of spring, the warm breath of summer. Read more
Medical terminology is my new muse. It’s almost poetic. “Mass, mobile and firm” was the caption on one of the snapshots my doctor handed me of my recent endoscopy, while I was still woozy from the Propofol (reportedly Michael Jackson’s drug of choice). Read more
I sleep well, generally. So when a pain in my gut woke me mid-REM on a recent Saturday, I knew something was wrong. “Where is the appendix?” was my first thought. But no, this pain—a burning acute bullseye of pain—was on the other side. When I touched the spot, it burned like the proverbial poker. Read more
During a long life, one loses things. I was warned that in moving out of our long-time city residence things would be lost. I was prepared. But what about the things that are found? This, I was not prepared for. Read more
My son asked me what my New Year’s resolutions were. I told him I don’t make them anymore but I have some to offer the rest of you…. Read more
- Stop assuming the worst of your fellow human beings. Maybe they are just deaf to your needs. Tell them what you want and ask how you can help them.
- Speak softer, but clearly. Make eye contact.
- Don’t forget to ask, no, really ask, how their day/week/life is going before ranting about your own. Don’t rant. Okay, maybe a little. Sometimes.
- Stop watching Fox News.
- Watch less MSNBC.
We will always remember Hurricane Sandy. Not for the mighty wrath of her destruction, but for the odd serendipity of her timing. Read more
Even though I think this presidential election is clearly between two opposing points of world-view, I find it hard to get caught up in the drama of it, as I have in the past. Maybe it’s my age. My generation has seen its share of pivotal elections—Stevenson v. Ike, Nixon v. Kennedy, Bush, Sr. v. Clinton, Gore v. Bush, Jr. Each time the zealots on both sides have predicted doom should the other side win. And if it were true, we are living in it. Maybe we are. Read more