What can penguins teach us?

Prior to my recent trip to Antarctica, I confess that I had not given penguins much consideration.  Not beautiful. Smell bad. Can’t fly.   Really, what was the point of a penguin? Now, however, I have a new appreciation for the penguin. As our ship lay at anchor off Deception Island in the Antarctic Ocean, weContinue reading “What can penguins teach us?”

Light in a Very Dark Place

We are now approaching the darkest days of the year.  Our Advent wreaths and Hanukkah menorahs have brought light into our lives.  It is an opportune time to reflect on how one can bring light to dark places. Several months ago friends from out of town invited me to a benefit organized to support Musicambia.Continue reading “Light in a Very Dark Place”

The beating heart of a home

When my in-laws were downsizing out of their home in Fredericton, New Brunswick in Canada and moving to an apartment, they very generously gave us a grandfather clock that stood in their front hall.  The clock was made in Halifax in Yorkshire, England, probably in the late 18th century and stands well over 9 feetContinue reading “The beating heart of a home”

Interstellar Space

Living as I do in an urban environment, it is not usually possible to see many, if any, stars on a regular basis.  Fortunately, my work takes me off the beaten path to places where there is little ambient light to obscure the night sky.   Most recently, I found myself in the desert ofContinue reading “Interstellar Space”

How Democracies Die

How Democracies Die By Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt Let me confess up front:  I have not yet read this book.  I’m screwing up my courage to do so.  However, I’ve heard just enough about it to be extremely concerned and intrigued. The authors argue that in recent times authoritarian leaders have actually come toContinue reading “How Democracies Die”

Juneteenth

Today, June 19th, marks the anniversary of the day Texas abolished slavery in 1865.  Several states, including Texas, recognize it. The Federal Government has also recognized “Juneteenth Independence Day,” although it is not an official Federal holiday. Perhaps of more consequence, Apple added Juneteenth to the list of official U.S. holidays this year.  I’m embarrassedContinue reading “Juneteenth”

Marriage

As Martin Luther wrote, “There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage.”   I couldn’t agree more.  And not just because my wife and I are about to celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary, I promise. The fact of the matter is that I’m a big fan ofContinue reading “Marriage”

One billboard outside Sandusky, Ohio

Each year my wife and I attend St. Bartholomew’s three-hour Good Friday service.  Each year I wonder how on earth I will sit through three hours of music, extended periods of silent prayer, readings on the seven last words of Christ, and a homily on each.  Each year the time disappears.

Twenty characteristics that make a genius

In keeping with my desire to observe Advent by seeking out beauty (see my November 28th post) and my fascination with Salvator Mundi (see my November 14th post), I just finished reading Walter Isaacson’s masterful and insightful biography of Leonardo Da Vinci.   Isaacson concludes his book by identifying twenty characteristics that make a genius.Continue reading “Twenty characteristics that make a genius”