It is never easy to be criticized or accused. If our inner world is filled with self-dislike, any outer challenge is a double whammy to our fragile sense of self. So we shut our ears and hearts. We defend. We protect ourselves. Or we get mired in our own defeat.Read More
On Orlando: Some Feeling-Thoughts
Last Thursday night, four days after the deadly massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, I attended a vigil at the Q Center in Portland Oregon. Like many people, I had been moving through the week in a daze of grief, anger, fear and hopelessness, trying to wrap my brain around the complexity of the intersecting, colliding and exploding issues that ended in the horrific rampage. Over 100 shot and 49 killed, mostly LGBTQ, mostly under age 30, the worst massacre ever perpetrated by an armed US citizen with a legally purchased assault rifle designed to destroy as many people as possible in as short a time as possible.Read More
Picture this: Week 3 of a five-week Intensive Course. About forty people—from different (and warring) countries, cultures, religions, races, genders and socio-economic backgrounds—are in attendance. The students have different levels of education, health, physical abilities, English language capacity and range in age from twenties to seventies.Read More
“If you inspire people to do their own thing, I think that’s the greatest thing. One always hopes for that…” Patti Smith
It’s the 40th anniversary of the release of Patti Smith’s revolutionary album Horses, an album that changed my life and launched my short-lived career as a punk rock star.
So much inspired me about this album, from Robert Maplethorpe’s iconic photograph on the cover, featuring Patti in gender bending church-boy attire sourced from (my then favorite store) Salvation Army (the record producers wanted to pretty her up but she wouldn’t have it), to the shocking and irreverent beat poetry in her lyrics—Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine. Above all else, I loved that she couldn’t sing very well—not in the standard sense, and she did it anyway. She didn’t look or act like a female was supposed to and she stayed true to herself. This was beautiful to me.Read More