Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

January 1970 Archives

love and war and faithful friends ~

War, my father once told me, never changes. It’s the same for every generation of men (and now women) who fight it for those of us who remain here, waiting. He told me this when he was about my husband’s […]


mermaids, furries and other dreamers ~

No, it’s not a real cat. It’s also not, according to the owner, merely a costume. It’s a fursona. A human being who has taken on the identity — at least sometimes — of a furry. I only learned quite […]


‘Mom, you’re sooo depressing’ ~

On the phone the other evening, my beloved younger son told me that while he reads my posts on Facebook, I am sooo depressing. (And yes, there was drawn-out emphasis on the so. :)) It’s true. I post news stories […]


‘Know your name’ ~

There’s a song I like, w/ a refrain that goes: Hold on. Know your name. Go your own way. That seems like such great advice.   I figure it has to apply to most of us, most of the time. Know […]

scattered brain syndrome ~

Today is a blond/ senior/ scattered day. So far, I’ve sent out my course packet for this semester’s class to last semester’s class (they were highly amused :)). I’ve forgotten why I had to go to the store, and left […]

poetry & star-stuff ~

This week’s New Yorker carries an article by scholar Stephen Greenblatt on the Roman poet Lucretius, and his poem On the Nature of Things. Who remembered that it’s Lucretius who brings atomism — the theory that we are all made […]

music as lingua franca ~

This came from a friend. I’d seen it a while back — it’s been making the rounds. But every time I watch it & listen, I feel happy. It deserves a bigger audience, making a better case than I can […]

stringing a harp… or, can anger be righteous?

Anger is my mind poison. In Buddhism, there are three — greed, anger, & delusion. Once you hear of them, you pretty much know which is yours. Although often I have to work against a kind of negative cocktail effect […]

mistakes, learning, & paying attention

I buttoned the duvet cover wrong today. I’m sure you’re wondering why this is news… But as I unbuttoned the entire length of buttons (because of course the one I skipped was at the other end…:)), I thought about mistakes. […]

Dan, the couple in the car beside me, and seeing with new eyes ~

On my way to pick up groceries for a family-full weekend, I pulled up to a stop light. As is my usual habit, I watched the people around me (I’m a die-hard people-watcher :)). In the car next to me […]

clean slate/ past ties ~

This is my current journal — nothing fancy (I’m being a bit stingy using the beautiful rose-pink Italian leather journal a former student gave me :)). Just a black Moleskine. I like the blank pages — they beckon to me. […]

weddings and dreams ~

Our family doctor’s son married in June. I wouldn’t know this, but he was talking weddings to my husband after our return from our son’s wedding. And what Dr. X said seemed rather sad, to me. Digression — are doctor/patient […]

public education & teaching teachers ~

This is how teachers learn best: caffeine & reflection :). Well,  at least the teachers I know ~ This week I helped with a two-day workshop with teachers in a town near here — one of the many small Oklahoma […]

Joplin, a tornado, an Arab emirate, & good neighbors ~

Those of us who live near Joplin, MO will never forget the tragedy of the May tornado. Such devastation that, as the photo shows, there was a scar where the tornado tore through the earth. But the thing about tragedies […]

poetry and the new Poet Laureate ~

There’s a new US Poet Laureate — Philip Levine. This may not be earth-shaking to many, but to a poet, whose vanity plate gives her ‘POETIC’ license, it’s HUGE :). And I like Levine’s work. I never like all of […]

rain, Ramadan, love & peace ~

It’s raining in Oklahoma. This is good. We had the hottest July of any state, any time, in  US history. August didn’t look a lot better, at least until last night. Wildfires have swept much of the state, causing evacuations […]

gentle spirits ~

I grew up with batik, buying it, wearing it, loving it. I have pillows made from batik my mother bought in Thailand when I was a teenager. I might save them over books, in a fire :). They remind me […]

just for fun ~

You owe it yourself to go the link for photos of Baby-Girl Rhino. She’ll make you smile, I promise. We all deserve that ~

a love letter to Portland ~

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I love the city of Portland, Oregon. But this trip — #5? #6? — was especially lovely. Of course much of that has to do w/ my son’s wedding :). And […]

the founding fathers, Islam, and enlighten(ed)ment ~

History has fallen out of fashion. Real history, I mean. The kind that requires reading more than one source. The kind of research that my students hate. Vectoring sources, looking things up in more than one place, viewing all sources […]

Ramadan ~

It’s Ramadan, and I’m remembering last year’s Ramadan, working in an office w/ a dear friend who is an observant Muslim. Trying to juggle my own need for lunch (I am sooo cranky when I don’t eat!) and my respect […]

the history book in the seat next to me ~

People talk to me. Like Mr. Mills in the seat next to me yesterday. We started with the fact that it was his 91st birthday. (He took as his due that Southwest Airlines gave him a bottle of Korbel Brut […]

heroines, news and if a tree falls…

Here’s a news story I’m betting you haven’t seen. I refuse to speculate (at least in print!) as to why not. But a good friend and colleague reminded me I could remedy that. So here’s the story: It’s a story […]

Previous Posts

leafturn, oceanstill
It's autumn, when life begins to slow. Sap draws down, and other than the frenzied cheek-stuffing of squirrels, outside seems quieter. Except for the ...

posted 9:00:24pm Oct. 08, 2015 | read full post »

thinking of lost boys
When I hear of the serial murder sprees -- all done w/ guns -- that plague America, I think of my sons. Not always first, but always. Probably too ...

posted 4:48:57pm Oct. 04, 2015 | read full post »

pebbles, lobsters, and priorities
I went to brunch with my beloved yesterday, to celebrate our zillionth (happy!) anniversary. It was beyond heavenly: all kinds of food I ...

posted 3:33:14pm Sep. 28, 2015 | read full post »

the souls of the others
I don't normally do book reviews, much less book raves. And yet... I just finished a book that captured me completely, Sy Montgomery's The Soul of an ...

posted 3:11:31pm Sep. 20, 2015 | read full post »

the gift of friends
I am blessed with friends far better than I deserve. Colleagues; former students; girlfriends & guy friends; family who have long since blurred that ...

posted 4:35:30pm Sep. 18, 2015 | read full post »


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