Slow and Steady

Although the facts of time and place have receded into legend, like many historical records of the birth of Modernism, it is certain that a packet of Japanese prints arrived in Paris around 1860 and instantly created a widening wave of amazement, incredulity, and exhilaration. The shock of encounter was so great, and the moment…

Notes from the Underground, Week 8

 Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. -Proverbs 16:23-25I love holiday weekends. For the past three days, I've been sleeping in and relaxing, hoping that, by Wednesday afternoon when I board the flight to New Orleans, I'll be cough-free and almost 100% healthy. Truth be told, it seems…

A Would-Be Mother’s Day Brunch

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate…

A Night for a Nog

“In time,” the philosopher Schopenhauer put it, “each moment is, only in so far as it has effaced its father the preceding moment, to be again effaced just as quickly itself. Past and future (…) are as empty and unreal as any dream; but present is only the boundary between the two, having neither extension…

Spinach Pie and Flying on the Fourth of July

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You…

Easter on the Spit

Happy was the hunting.-Euripides ("The Bacchae")Yesterday I had my very first Greek Easter; the day was full of roasted lamb, folk music, and a language I don't quite understand. But it was fun, strange, confusing, slightly terrifying (imagine being told that when Greeks try to have their annual festivities, the cops sometimes appear....because passersby think…

Venturing into Vegan, Part I

To thine own self be true.-Shakespeare (Hamlet)For the past few years, every time I've thought of President's Day, I've simultaneously thought of Polonius' famous line from Hamlet. Not really for any particular reason, either. It's just that somehow in February, when I find myself stuck in the middle of a winter that seems like it's…