Say It

Developing an Intentional Leadership Style The first couple times I do it, folks don’t know what the hell is happening. Most look down or immediately blush. Some shift their weight from one foot to the other absentmindedly. Others stare back at me for an uncomfortable two or three seconds to make sure I’m finished. Whether …

Mic drop

Ok, then don’t care about baseball. Rachael said it so matter-of-factly and with such confidence that I almost believed that she had rehearsed that line in front of her mirror, knowing at some point she’d say it to me. It was a perfect analogy, delivered with genuine conviction, to help me understand how her mind …

Finally…

As a former English teacher, I have had quite a love affair with words for the last twenty years. Like my marriage, my relationship with words undulates, palpitates, and frustrates. Sometimes words come in a flurry, frenetically and furiously. Other times words have to be coaxed and cajoled in order to get them to land …

Relax Your Tongue

I want you to relax your tongue. I’m serious. Relax your tongue. It must be difficult being a tongue. My man rarely gets any down time. The first time my yoga instructor said this during our practice, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Having practiced yoga for years, not one yogi ever asked …

Whispers

It started some fifteen years ago. The time, circumstance, and context were different, but its presence was visceral, consuming.  We spoke in hushed tones about it most of the time, as if we were trying not to awaken the elephant in the room. If we did, we thought, it would surely trample us. Say nothing …

Close Your Eyes

It’s a short list, but the older I get, the longer it becomes.  Jeff Buckley’s “Last Goodbye.” Pearl Jam’s “Release.” James’s “Out To Get You.” Regardless of where I am (except in the car; I’m not a lunatic) or what’s happening in my life, there are certain songs that make me close my eyes. A …

Welling Up

The entire theater knew it was coming, as Robert Zemeckis’s foreshadowing had all the subtlety of a frying pan to the face, and there I sat, huddled against the wall in the final seat of an aisle as Forrest narrated Jenny’s death.  You died on a Saturday morning. And I had you placed here under …

Cleaning Up

The place was spotless.  I mean spit-shined, dust mote free, a-place-for-everything-and-everything-in-its-place clean. The vacuum cleaner treads were still fresh when I got back to the townhouse on that Friday night. Frankly, I walked through our place with an overwhelming sense of calm because it was always me who cleaned and tidied, so it was refreshing …

Selfie

While teaching from one of my favorite novels, Stephen Chbosky’s seminal YA work The Perks of Being A Wallflower, I spent an inordinate amount of time on the main character’s de facto love interest, Mary Elizabeth. Though only a bit character, she proves a perfect foil to Charlie, and Chbosky’s wily name choice for this …

Hope and Grace

As we embark on this unprecedented bizarre frightening school year, we do so, perhaps for the first time ever, on a parallel course with each other. Gone are the days of imagined or tangential shared experience. Ours is now a visceral, often public, and daily collision course with the unknown highlighted by more variables than …