Category: Living

Each moment is different. Here are some of mine.

Why I Love: Sonoma

IT’S THE HISTORY. IT’S THE diversity of food, from restaurants to markets to semipermanent food-trucks. It’s the out-of-state license plates ringing the Plaza on weekends. It’s the eight-acre Sonoma Plaza itself: families having picnics, occasional Tai Chi enthusiasts or Morris…

“Return to the Breath”

SOMETHING ANN AND I SAY to each other when life seems fretful and jagged is “Return to the Breath.” It’s a compact admonition against spiraling out of control with what-ifs and oh-my-gods. Return to the Breath means sit (or stand,…

The Name is Attinson. NEAL Attinson.

MY NAME IS NOT “NEIL ATTISON.” Neither is it “Neale” or “Niall,” “Addison,” “Atkinson,” “Atchison,” or “Adlington.” (I’m still trying to figure that one out.) Despite these cognomenly difficulties, I have no desire to change my name to something more…

The story is told of two prisoners condemned to death being held for 6 months in the dungeon of a castle. On the day of execution, the lieutenant leads them down the corridor and up the stairs level by level until they come to the courtyard exit. They are taken to the wall, blindfolded, given their last cigarette and their hands are tied behind their backs. The lieutenant walks back to his firing squad and says, “Ready, aim …” and one prisoner turns to the other prisoner and says, “Now here’s my plan!”

–Rabbi Kalman Packouz

Why I Love: Geronimo Cat

IT’S HIS INDEPENDENCE. IT’S watching him sleep. It’s his purring. It’s the feel and smell of his fur. (It’s also the smell of his paws.) It’s the way he closes his eyes when I pet him. It’s his occasional intense,…

Don’t Look Up

OF ALL THE PET PEEVES this modern life offers, one of the most soul-sucking is checking out at the grocery store. I’m specifically talking about the debit-card machine. Time was, you could fill the two-to-three-minute transaction with friendly banter; ask…

Why I Love: Writing

IT’S THE SCARINESS OF THE blank screen. It’s the focused attention. It’s the mental sensation of assembling Tinker-Toy pieces into a coherent structure. It’s the way the hours fly by. It’s the nothing-else-like-it buzz (thank you, Stephen King). It’s the…