“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work,
In this multi-ethnic society, we don’t hear the term “melting pot” used anymore. But there are unstated assumptions that remain nevertheless. We see the other through the prism of our own view of reality.
At certain points, I can’t hold the postures. I pause, look around the room and inch closer to the door where there is the smallest sliver of air. The class continues with my mind darting in different places. I negotiate with my limbs.
It was a difficult story, and I wasn’t quite figuring it out, and I would have probably given up, but it was George Saunders, and I wanted to know what was going to happen. And just as my husband approached a stoplight where I had ridden my bike throughout adolescence, I got to the brilliant end, which made a kind of cosmic sense that brought tears to my eyes and filled my heart, and I thought this guy must be the greatest short story writer ever.
I am amazed, always, to see someone begin to realize that they are more than what they do, that their interior journey matters, and that they are always held by love.
Parents help children feel rooted in their family—belonging and being accepted no matter their passions, their hopes, their identity. Gradually, this sense of belonging gives children the confidence to take wing and ‘belong’ elsewhere, building their own lives.
I write for the exact reason Dillard implies–to figure out why I’m interested, why I care, or why I’m bothered. I write often, for example, on the topics of parenting, marriage, and friendship because I wonder about behavior, motivation, consequences, and how to get better in all three areas. I’m not an expert. I’m just exploring. I write to analyze. And I analyze to improve.
Caring what others think doesn’t mean we’re weak—it means we don’t assume our ego is at the center of the universe. It means we’re open and willing to hear other perspectives, that we recognize the possibility that we might be wrong sometimes, or straying off course, or that people actually have our best interests at heart.
It is thus no accident that Rabbi Waxman is the first woman and the first out lesbian to head a rabbinical school and a Jewish denomination in Jewish history. While this leap forward is not surprising, it is significant nevertheless. We often try to imagine what the world would be like if it were run by women, and Waxman’s inaugural address yesterday provided a clear taste of how gender can make a difference.
Instead, an acknowledgement of simple truth: time passes. No judgment is placed on how fast or how slow it goes, or whether that’s a good or bad thing. It doesn’t matter what one’s opinion of time is, for either way it passes. Not “passed” or “will pass,” but always, eternally, “passes.”
I’ve learned that traditions evolve. My Diwali is not my parent’s Diwali; my mother and father’s Diwali probably landed differently that their ancestor’s celebrations. But there is a unifying thread that connects these experiences together and lends to the definition of Diwali.