Out Into the World


Please click to watch this awareness-raising video.



Sometimes, I think I obey all the wrong rules.

When I packed for my excursion downtown yesterday to hear His Holiness the Dalai Lama, I double-checked the directives on the Emory University website, and did not bring any bags or recording devices. Turns out I could have brought a camera. Sitting 75 feet from the stage, I was perfectly situated to photograph the Dance of the Snow Lion, traditional throat-singers, and folk musicians who performed. And if I’d been like so many of the people around me, I would have just broken out the video camera, too. Then I really could have caught the sights and sounds of the event, which definitely reminded me that I was in Atlanta (as opposed to say, San Francisco).

“Have you been to the merch tent? They have hand sanitizer.”

“What is this, like, a Woodstock sort of thing?”

“Oh my god, y’all, he’s so cuuute!!”

Then there was the comment of my lawn neighbor, who pish-poshed six nearby protesters who who briefly chanted “Free Tibet!” Astonishingly, these people garnered absolutely no support—other than my own, of course—from a crowd of thousands.

“That’s inappropriate,” the woman behind me commented. “This is a religious event, not a political one.”

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Devotion | Wim Wenders

wings of desire

“We can only be as savage as we are absolutely serious.”

Planning your escape is fun and all, but it takes loads of work, too. Just ask filmmaker Wim Wenders. (He made my all-time favorite movie Wings of Desire, so he knows everything.) I am sitting here trying to figure out how to squeeze in a trip to Spain this winter, and the sad truth is that before I do that I have to a) secure a new work contract, and b) reckon with my credit card bill. Talk about serious ….



I’ve referenced Edna St. Vincent Millay here before, in a now-imploded page of this blog. We can always afford to hear more from her, as far as I’m concerned. Most literate Americans know her poem “First Fig,” but I reread “Second Fig” recently and saw it with new eyes.

“Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:

Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!”

Risk can make life more beautiful.

Hope + More

New Book

Last week I picked up Ariel Gore’s new firecracker of a book and breezed through it in one night. She herself is chock-full of good advice for the budding creative, but the one line in the book that has stuck with me—bangs like a gong in my head at least every hour—is a quote by novelist Rita Mae Brown.

“Never hope more than you work.”

And Ariel should know all about it, too. Continue reading

Lessons from the Laundromat


For the first time in two weeks, everything in my suitcase is fluffy and clean. This includes my jeans, which didn’t take well to my half-hearted handwashing in Tallinn. A clean stack of laundry may not sound like much of a triumph, but considering that a week ago I was in a city with no public laundromats, it is a triumph indeed. Honestly, I had a better day today because I had truly clean clothes.

Logistics matter. They matter a lot. Continue reading