Movement causes friction. Always. —Jon Maxwell. I walked into the physical therapist’s office after four weeks of traveling, four weeks of dallying, four weeks of tallying up exactly ZERO of my normal range of motion exercises that I had been so diligent about doing multiple times a day before I left. And I was stiff. To put it mildly. More accurately, I was the Tin Man in desperate need of oil—ANY OIL—and a strong set of hands to loosen my knee’s unwillingness to move or to bend my neglect away. I wanted someone else to take the uncomfortable heat that friction from new movement had [...]
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The beloved Cathedral de Notre Dame in Paris was burning yesterday. The absolutely gorgeous, ornate structure with beauty so intricate, so masterful, that it could not help but arrest your breath and capture your heart upon witnessing such creativity, such manifestation. It was burning. Hundreds of years, blood sweat and tears, hopes, dreams and fears...burning. As the media panicked, it was tempting to get emotionally swept up in the enveloping flames. It was hard not to see the beauty overwhelmed in a fiery inferno and feel the collective heartbreak. It was hard not to cleave, white-knuckled, onto the certainty of our [...]
I got a chance to catch up with a dear friend last night, and while we spoke, she described her frustration over having had to go back and live in her midwestern home state since last I saw her. She had to leave her previous bustling city, and bypass one of the more popular coasts, and she described how her frustration had grown into near hatred for the “slow” pace, nosiness and lack of privacy with rural life. However, her deepest frustration for where she was living was that it felt and looked like a “step back” from the chic, fast-paced [...]
I had the honor, the pleasure of speaking to a beautiful group of nearly 400 people last week, and I can honestly say that I was moved beyond measure by each one of them. During one of the breakout interviews, I noticed some rather recent scars on the forearm of the beautiful young girl interviewing me, and it took all of me not to reach out and cover her braised, healing, keloided skin; to put my hands on the remnants of her pain like a salve, and tell her that she was not alone. Self-flagellation is something that is so rarely [...]
It is my honor to give the keynote speech for the CELEBRATING WOMEN LEADERS EVENT at Olivet College on Friday. The story of their all-inclusive college since its inception in 1844 inspired some thoughts on mentorship, which I'm sharing below...A gigantic THANK YOU to the brilliant hearts involved with the Women's Leadership Institute. Thank you for making the world a better place: The relationship between education and mentorship goes far beyond the narrow connotations held between stereotypical school teacher and student, or professor and pupil. In its truest form, mentorship takes life’s most noble pursuit and acts as the key that [...]
After returning from my most recent trip to the west coast, I was confronted with the concept of “home;” confronted with what it had meant to me, and if the definition and manifestation that I had held for most of my life was still relevant. For many of my friends in New York City and around the country, the idea of home was a place, a brick-and-mortar construct filled with material objects that they had purchased or received; a physical place to which they had returned after hard work days and long trips. For many, home was and has been the [...]
A dear friend of mine asked me to write a piece for the 175th anniversary of her college. The school was one of the first in our nation to accept, include and support students of every gender, race, creed or socio-economic status. It was one of the first to truly embrace diversity. While researching what made this small school in the heart of my home state quite special, I realized that much of its historical profundity was just as provocative and relevant back then as today. The power of diversity, and the forethought that this school maintained in recognizing that power, [...]
I overheard a gentleman having a heated conversation on his cellphone as I stood next to him on the street corner waiting for a taxi yesterday. He was, apparently, upset about losing money in an investment he had made, and referred to the cutthroat “zero-sum game” of economics, and, thusly, the “zero-sum game” of life, before shouting at the person on the other end of the line and nearly chucking his phone across the street. It was hard to shake the gentleman’s conversation from my mind as we continued to wait for open cabs to come forth. It was the first [...]
I was wrapping my post-operative knee with bags of ice yesterday, when something new quite literally popped up into view. A brand new, blue-red vein running parallel to my incision had been created where there was none like it before. The civil engineering cells of my body had built a brand new major thoroughfare to carry oxygenating life-force to the recent most vulnerable place on my body. I realized at the time that this was not the most common topic of conversation—apart from, perhaps, the small talk before a chapter meeting at a local coven—however, the feelings of wonder and appreciation [...]
I bore witness to an act of vitriol anger last night, words that were hurled over the Internet in venomous outrage toward someone about whom I care deeply. It sent my mind, my heart tumbling one over the other with a sad curiosity about what it takes to get to that point—where someone’s words are hurled to harm another, rather than to accurately translate and express their internal feelings. Where does love stand in this era of ‘trolls?’ If the capacity we have to love another is directly proportional to that which we harbor for ourselves, then everything that we [...]