Don’t Squander Your Greatness

What a week! My inbox has been bursting with so much good will vapor, it’s as fragrant as Bath and Body Works during their 75% off sale. Here’s a sampling of this week’s bouquet: Julie wrote to say she’d forwarded my story  “Same Little Legs Still Carry Me” to her sister, who, God bless her, is not only dealing with the loss of her 25-year-old-daughter, but breast cancer as well. Julie sent it to her sister to remind her of just how strong she really is. I was blown … [Read more...]

Tell ‘Em They Mattered

Pat Conroy tells an interesting story about modesty. He was on a book tour, somewhere in New England, I believe. He said he loved to visit the local indy book stores, to browse, buy some books and to check if his titles were on the shelf. He was quite famous already, The Great Santini, Prince of Tides, South of Broad. You know, that Pat Conroy. He steps up to the register and the store clerk exclaims, “Oh my God, you’re Pat Conroy!” and she immediately runs to the back … [Read more...]

Same Little Legs Still Carry You

The little girl in the bright yellow tee-shirt caught my attention. Must have been nine, maybe ten. It was rainy, not a downpour, rather one of those spongy May mornings. Stationary raindrops clung where they landed, glistening spheres on feathery iris, pale and pearly white. The landscape was awash in purples, pinks, grey and green. Many shades of green. I noticed her because she was alone. This is a rare sight on a busy street during the morning rush and the little … [Read more...]

‘Cause I’m (reasonably) Happy

My consulting travels recently took me to Indianapolis. I posted up in an office that had been vacated just days earlier. Somebody had been 86’ed, shit canned, pink-slipped, workforce reduced.  Book shelves and desk drawers were empty. (I know because I checked) There were no photos, no stapler, no box of Kleenex on the desk, no abandoned pad of Post-It notes. There was, however a small affirmation taped to the computer monitor which had been left like the skeletal … [Read more...]

Zen Dentistry and Other Acts of Courage

  So, I was talking to my shrink yesterday. We determined that I had not seen him since 2009, as he was in his former location, not as fancy as his new place. Must be a high demand for therapists these days. I understand from whence this comes, being a card carrying member of the Highly-Functioning Merely Neurotic Club. Even we need an occasional tune-up on the couch. I did not lay down. I did lay out what I called the churn. The dreaded … [Read more...]

Random Acts of Elevator Kindness

On the G train heading home to my son’s place in Brooklyn Saturday night, I committed a cardinal sin. I spoke to a stranger. Well really, he started it. I was reading the playbill from the show we’d just seen, curious over why Toni Collette was the only actor to have this disclaimer after her name: “appearing with the support of Actors’ Equity Association.” “Surely she’s not the only union member in this play,” I said to Patrick. A gentleman sitting across the car … [Read more...]

Shop Worn

This whole thing thing started with a rotten pair of panty hose. I mean this in the most literal sense. It progressed to a broken shoe, revisiting a broken heart and spun out of control at 30,000 feet into full-fledged melancholy about turning 59. Yep, I said it, secret’s out. So, today’s my birthday. Happy Birthday to me. I’m glad I was born. But recent days have been fraught with menacing little jabs, reminding me that officially starting today, I have one more year … [Read more...]

Listen, Seriously, Just Listen

The husband and wife at the restaurant didn’t notice me staring, how could they? They were absorbed in their texting. Who were they texting? Their kids were already sitting at the table playing Angry Birds. I couldn’t help but think that this broke the hearts of the birds overhead, singing so sweet and so clear, it made you want to tip them. What I really wanted to do though,  was walk over to the parents on this first warm evening of spring, and diplomatically … [Read more...]

The Reassurance We Crave

This is a story about bravery, bumper cars and baseball. Well, kind of. Even though he’s a diehard Dodgers fan, what with living in L.A. and growing up watching the Albuquerque Dukes groom players for the big show, my son Nate was wearing the St. Louis Cardinals hat I got him for Christmas when he took me to the airport last week. I cried when I hugged him goodbye. Every time I leave a kid at the airport, I swear I won’t cry.  Always do. Such is the reality for the … [Read more...]

Ride the Rails

  I first met Michael in a dog park in Philadelphia while on my Off the Leash journey in July of 2011. It was early on. Libby and I were still getting our sea legs under us, a bit tentative. The vibe in each city, each park, every situation felt different. Michael was cool. He’s a soft-spoken guy, cute, young enough to be one of my sons.  He was at the dog park with Frank, his client dog that day. Turns out Michael was a dog walker. We quickly fell in, with … [Read more...]