Showing posts from April, 2010


The old tree never talked to the human things, never once in the endless cycles of dark and light or the greater turns of buds and ice. They were disinclined to listen, so he had never considered it.
Oh, he had watched them scurrying through their lives, passing his place on their way to some other. He had watched them coming and going, building and unbuilding, rearranging the world and moving on. Little by little, they cleared the grove around him, taking the timbers of his fallen friends for ceaseless projects in the far away. His wood was too knotty and twisted for that purpose; so, in time, he stood alone with the smaller lives.

On quiet evenings when the breezes tickled his leaves, he listened to the rustle of the long grass and answered in his way. He shared his world with the soft moss and a tangle of weeds that sprouted up each spring. He knew their generations, untouched as he because they were equally insignificant to the men who remade the forest. In the fresh days of …

High Pressure

This week has been a harrowing whirlpool of worries and obligations. My first week back at work after a few days vacation is always high stress. I steel myself for the pressure and pace of trying to catch up and untangle the knots that inevitably occur in my absence. Nothing attracts a complicated problem or a string of phone messages and e-mails like stepping away from your desk for a while.
At the start of this first week back, I experienced a car accident that left me without a vehicle, scrambling to arrange transportation, to report the accident to the state and make the insurance claim. There have been calls to and from several insurance offices and the body shop, appointments rescheduled, and all of the other accident fallout.

Concurrently, there were worries over my mother-in-law's heart surgery, my husband's health problems that required two doctor visits in one week, and impending computer "upgrades" at work that promised to be increasingly complicated wit…

Help Yourself

On the way to choosing her goal of a library science degree, my daughter explored the fields of philosophy, psychology and social work. Despite this obvious interest in how people see the world and her desire to help those who are suffering or seeking, she has a profound dislike of the self-help industry. Not too long ago, we discussed her strong feelings on the popular books and methods, their gurus and followers.
She didn't disagree with their advice on all counts, even noting that many of the "new" ideas were recycled from the philosophy and religion of other cultures or historical periods. Her primary objection seemed to be the marketing of that advice.

Authors of self-help books and leaders of self-help programs may begin with the best intentions, but often end up using classic sales techniques to push the notion of a quick fix on a public that is all too willing to buy that impossible concept. Mankind is always seeking, feels the need to figure it all out and fin…