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August 29, 2015
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River Muse

Back on the bus

“I’ve been on this bus before,” I told my seatmate. We were on our way to the People’s Climate March in New York City to demonstrate with thousands of others our concern about climate change. She was new to demonstrations. I was not.  Read more

The heart of the matter

If it’s true that a school is the heart of a community, someone ripped our heart out more than a decade ago. This being a democracy, we may have no one to blame but ourselves. But blame is not the answer—action is.  Read more

Intention

Chaturanga, savasana, mudra are familiar terms to me, and perhaps to you. They refer to core poses in yoga that are thought to affect our ability to connect to the spiritual world. Sitting in a yoga class after the mats are rolled out and noses are relieved of their morning stuffiness, we are asked to create an intention for the day’s practice. This is an interior moment, left unexpressed, that fills the mind with purpose. The body senses it. Intention is sealed with a prayerful hand gesture. Practice begins.  Read more

The Weather Project?

The first dozen times I heard about “The Weather Project” I was confused. What did they mean by “Project?” What was a piece of theatre about weather going to be? Why was it going to go on for two years? Lots of questions. And I should have had answers. I am on the board of directors of The North American Cultural Laboratory (NACL), the sponsor and creator of The Weather Project. But every time I tried to explain the project I stumbled, uttering vague allusions to climate change, community projects and ensemble theatre.  Read more

‘Year of My Sign’

My call time was 10 a.m. Saturday morning in Brooklyn. The day before, I met with the director to finalize my costume and props. The vintage Burberry trench coat fit well, and I could wear my own black slacks and sensible brown shoes. “As long as you can run in them,” he said. He said nothing about jumping.  Read more

Forty years and a bar

Six large crystal chandeliers hang from the ceiling of the lobby of Le Pavillion Hotel in New Orleans. Two oak-leaf gilt mirrors rise above marble consoles on either end of the room adding infinite repetitions of the highly decorated scene. At 10 a.m. on the last Monday morning in April, Jazz Festers slowly tumble from the elevators looking for some chicory-laced coffee to rouse them. Most have imbibed more liquid cheer in a weekend than a bartender pours on New Year’s Eve.  Read more

Breaking through (the ACA)

The ice dam has broken, finally. A huge berg twirls in the eddy, unwilling to float downriver to the sea. Chunks disengage, spiraling off from the mothership. I imagine a huge umbilical cord of ice holding on to the riverbed below like a tether, but it doesn’t sound likely, or scientific. I am witnessing the end of a long winter. The night’s rain has turned to frost on the lawn. The only color is the dull gray of tree trunks and the bright green of the Narrowsburg Bridge. My imagination is as dull as the landscape. But, look!  Read more

What was I thinking?

Sheila is in Costa Rica with friends, where the sunsets are “spectacular!” John and Robert are on their way to Jamaica to rest their heads in Noel Coward’s bedroom. Barry and Tony are just back from Cabo. What am I doing wrong?  Read more

The heart of Art

My friend Art Peck was not a simple man. What he knew about the world, he mostly learned from experience. When he wanted to know more, he turned to a book, or the Internet, or to someone with more experience. With less than an 8th grade formal education, he built a small empire, several boats, a few cars and a house. He was born smart, not raised smart. He had his own ideas, whether about politics, or the environment, or business, or art, or the way a mutual friend kept house.  Read more

The need to want

I am writing from the early hours of Cyber-Monday after what the New York Times refers to as a “gloomy Black Friday.” I have a confession to make. I didn’t shop on Thanksgiving (I would never!), nor on Black Friday. I didn’t even shop on Small Business Saturday (although I meant to). On Sunday, I browsed the catalogs that managed to find us, even after two moves in one year. I almost clicked on a pair of moto-boots in black leather that were drool-worthy and on sale, but instead I closed my iPad and rested my eyes before going to sleep.  Read more