Fearless Friday: The Importance of Curiosity

Currently, I’m slogging through Douglas Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Braid. I say slog because it’s a challenge, heavy on the math and science of formal systems and their connections. This is the kind of reading I regularly do, even if I come away with a muddied sense of things. How is the world connected? What does this or that mean? I feel an odd sense of joy in reaching middle age with more questions than answers. Curiosity is a skill like any other. It has to be practiced and encouraged…. Read More

Fearless Friday: Renaissance People

It’s been a rough week at The Green Study. Its injured denizen (me) was extremely grumpy. Knee injuries take from 2-4 weeks to heal. I’m in week two and severely out of sorts. I broke my ceramic tea kettle and when trying to repair it, managed to Superglue a couple of fingers together. Limping and lumbering about also caused my Kindle to fall off a shelf and hit me in the head. It was like being taken over by the spirit of Mr. Bean. I’m shaking it off and this week, the… Read More

A Misshapen Valentine that I Made Myself

It was at a relative’s funeral over 15 years ago that I began to wonder about my ability or inability to love. The spouse of the deceased, an awkward and unlikable man, cornered me. He began to explain my relatives to me in critical terms. She doesn’t know how to love. They are such cold people. He would never understand love. Grieving requires latitude, so I stood there, numbly, and listened as he described the people I loved as terrible. And maybe they were. I’ve written before about my upbringing and childhood…. Read More

Stories from the Road: Chasing Barges and Otherness

For a brief respite between drab winter and frenzied garden preparations, my family and I headed up to the North Shore on Lake Superior. We visited the local high points: Split Rock Lighthouse, Glensheen Mansion, an aquarium, a maritime museum. It was relaxing and enjoyable when we were together. Alone, I found moments to do what I do best. I recognized my Otherness. It’s hard not to feel apart and isolated these days. My disconnect from the political those who scramble to represent us, overpower us, quiet us, is becoming palpable. I… Read More

Outliers: Contradictions Us All

It’s a strange world in which we all strive so hard to be unique and special and identifiable, but quickly revert to the thems and theys when describing entire groups of other humans. If pushed on our own deeply-held stereotypes, we’d be quick to crumble to the idea of exceptions to every rule – that there are Republicans with compassion and Democrats with morals. That women can be tough, but kind and men tender, but powerful. That people without children can lead fulfilling lives and that large families can be healthy and… Read More

Turkey Wrangling and Other Curiosities

On the way to the grocery store last week, a police van stopped in front of me at a busy intersection and put on its lights. I reflexively wondered what I had done. The officer got out and walked back towards my car. I panicked – did I put my current registration in the glove box? He stopped and with a comical, defeated expression on his face, gestured for me to go around his vehicle. I passed by slowly, wondering what was going on. On the other side of the officer’s van,… Read More