Category Archives: Writing

Hearing Virginia Woolf in Buddhism Class

(Italicized text from The Waves by Virginia Woolf)

The young monk sinks easily into the asana, or lotus, position. He is Caucasian, tall and thin with large dark eyes and a friendly smile. I guess him to be in his thirties. Over a plain, long-sleeved cotton shirt, he wears the traditional Tibetan Buddhist robe—a maroon cotton cloth wrapped across the left shoulder and another wrapped around his waist, floor-length. His short black hair is in a tight knot at the center of his crown, sleek as if gelled to control stray curls. Before him, on the tiny puja (prayer table) sits not an ancient scroll in Pali or Sanskrit but a laptop. The glowing Apple on its open cover seems especially incongruous; I wonder if he is ever tempted by all the seductive fruit of the Internet. Continue reading

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Discovering the Past in Le Marais, Paris

It does not seem to me, Austerlitz added, that we understand the laws governing the return of the past, but I feel more and more as if time did not exist at all, only various spaces interlocking according to the … Continue reading

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Sanitarium of the Mind

Some days the news is so bad, circumstances so dire, or personal loss so devastating, I long for one of those old-fashioned health resorts, an open-air sanitarium from the days before psychotherapy mushroomed into the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual … Continue reading

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My Ideal Bookshop

I think that I still have it in my heart someday to paint a bookshop with the front yellow and pink in the evening…like a light in the midst of the darkness. — Vincent van Gogh I’m in escapist mode … Continue reading

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The Blind Leading the Blind

Thoughts after Reading Jose Saramago’s Blindness Reading tastes are as individual as food preferences. It is, after all, biology that governs individuality, so what is it in my DNA that makes some books resonate while even critically acclaimed others do … Continue reading

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Now begin the Twelve Days of Christmas culminating in Twelfth Night, the feast of the Epiphany, a celebration of the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles.  Since I am not particularly religious, I am inclined on these cold, quiet, reflective … Continue reading

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Cemeteries, the most accessible spiritual sanctuaries in the world, are also some of the last green (i.e., chemical-free) spaces in America. I try to visit a cemetery whenever I travel to a new city; of all I’ve seen, from Mount … Continue reading

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