Accepting Futility

On a recent 12-hour (overnight) layover, I found myself unable to sleep, but too exhausted to stay awake. I decided that, since I couldn’t really fall asleep but also couldn’t really keep my eyes open and pay attention to anything, I would just listen to some music. I listened to the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack. Several…

3 Lessons From Wonder Woman

I know I’m very, very late in coming to the Wonder Woman party. I finally saw it for the first time last week and have been thinking about it a lot since then. There were definitely things that bothered me and that I didn’t like, but there was an incredible power about it that I couldn’t…

Everything I need to know I learned from Harry Potter

It’s funny, really, what you can learn from a children’s book. And funny how powerful such a book can be. Only, it’s not funny at all. It’s true. Right now, I want to talk about one children’s series: Harry Potter. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone was first published 20 years ago today, and it…

The New Normal

The stories aren’t new. Not new anymore. Don’t shock like they did. Don’t shock anymore. Drawn out of the past. Dusty books on shelves. Somewhere, yes; not here. Never close. Never real. Not anymore. How? We buried the dark, The monsters. Turns out it’s stubborn. Iron. Civilized, we thought. And better, we thought. But now…

Another reason to love reading

There are plenty of things I’m not very sanguine about, but on the whole, I have a fairly optimistic view of human nature. I think people are mostly good and that there’s not as much bad as it’s easy to think there is. Sometimes, though, it can be hard to hold on to that view. And…

A Public Faith

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to do an internship in Amman, Jordan. It was an incredible experience, though I’ll admit I was definitely ready to come home by the end of it. I remember thinking in the final weeks of my internship about what I would miss the most – what I would…

The Right Time

When I was eight, I tried to read my first adult book. I seem to remember it being at least 800 pages long, although Goodreads claims it is just over 400 pages, so…there’s that. It had been given to me by my grandmother and was part of an enormous series called The Work and the…

Opinionating

I have thought a lot recently about facts, opinions, and being opinionated. Being open-minded is important to me. One of my pet peeves is when people do not think for themselves and ask questions. This is one reason I have always felt uncomfortable with calling myself a member of a particular political party. (To this…

One Undervalued Way to Make the World a Better Place

There have been many, many times over the course of my life that heartbreaking stories have dominated news media (for varying lengths of time, whether it is minutes, hours, or days). At those times, I always look at everyone around me, and I read what people post on social media, or listen to what they…

Never Again

For those of you following the news, you will have seen that the situation in Syria has rapidly deteriorated. (You can find an excellent summary of what is happening here, from the ever-wonderful BBC.) As I am writing this, some reports are emerging of a deal that has been reached which could end the summary killings…

Drawing Lines Through History

Last weekend, I went with one of my roommates to attend a production of Handel’s Messiah. Like so many people, I grew up loving the “Hallelujah Chorus” and “For Unto Us a Child Is Born,” but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I ever bothered to listen to the full oratorio. It’s not my…

Comfort Reads

I love this time of year. Hearty stew, thick scarves, brightly colored leaves, roasted vegetables. Everything warm and soothing. I found this has even spilled over into my reading choices at the moment.  When it was time to decide what to read next last week, there was nothing that jumped out at me for a…

What I’ve Been Enjoying Recently

With all of the ugliness online at the moment, I thought I would try and send out some positive vibes into the world by sharing some things that I have really been enjoying recently. Podcasts: Presidential–This is a FANTASTIC podcast by the Washington Post and I absolutely love it. They cover one president each week,…

An Open Letter to Donald Trump

Donald: I can put up with a lot. It takes a lot to get me upset or bothered. I don’t like conflict, so although I have opinions, I rarely voice them. (And I’m not naive enough to think they’re always the right ones, anyway.) But I learned something today, thanks to you. Two things in…