Basket of Scenes from a Life

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<p><strong>DANCING SCISSORS</strong></p>


Shoshanah Dubiner

The following amounts to an electronic book. It consists of short articles that are published, in nearly every case, on Huffington Post. The articles describe remarkable experiences from my own life, mostly of people met or places visited.

The articles are arranged in chronological order and each title is clickable: you will be taken instantly to the text (preceded, in many cases, by a painting or photograph that fits with, or offers a comment on, the subject).

This β€œBasket of Scenes from a Life” stands beside my book, Enlarging Our Comfort Zones, which focuses more sharply on the 1980s. β€œA Basket” includes anecdotes from childhood to the present. This is less a memoir than a set of stories about other people, some famous and some just amazing. Enjoy.

Chronological periods:

  • Growing Up (number of articles = 14)
  • College (7)
  • Year Abroad on Knox Fellowship (13)
  • 1962-78 (21)
  • 1978-1992 (13)
  • The Nineties (11)
  • Early Ashland (13)
  • Later Ashland (13)

Total = 105

Images that appear at the head of articles listed on this page, whether works of art or photographs, are protected by copyright and are used by written permission of either the author of these articles ( or Shoshanah Dubiner ( who can each be reached via the websites listed above

Growing Up

β€œMarge’s Program” #151 (order of posting)

β€œSalutary Shocks” (surprises to learn from)#179

β€œA Penny on the Rail” (stopping a train) #155

β€œBack to the Farm” #216

β€œA Happy Man” #192

β€œLittle Entrepreneurs” (a lesson from Dad) #132

β€œA Tipsy Playwright” (sneaking into the big city) #131

β€œEvery Sunday” #219

β€œFrom a Still Pool to Flow”” (what I grew up with) #160

β€œWhat’s in a Name?” (my Dad’s) #180

β€œA Misdirected Endorsement” (letters from Senator Humphrey’s office) #130


β€œMore Than I Expected” (volunteering) #202

β€œWriting for the Paper” #196

β€œWhen the System Fails” (adopting a false solution) #19 7

β€œThe Hungarians” (starting with a room-mate) #206

β€œMonro’s Damage Control” (review of biography subtitled Uncommon Educator, about John U. Monro, who served as Dean of Harvard College) #54

β€œEncounters with JFK” (a Foreword by Jonh F. Kennedy, youth service abroad, a joke on the Presidential campaign trail about Nixon, the American University speech) #114

β€œChosen Brothers” (college room-mates) #201

Year Abroad on Knox Fellowship

β€œHands That Are Invisible” (remembering Adam Smith, in Edinburgh) #45

β€œSaved by a Strong Arm” (Lord Russell in London) #106

β€œDiscovering In Parenthesis” (in Wales, about David Jones, the poet and artist) #98

β€œAmsterdam” #204

β€œWall of Shame” (in Berlin) #100

β€œUnanticipated Lessons” (in Ischgl, Austria) #101

”Generosity on the Road” #141

β€œA Dinner in Delphi” (surprise in Greece) #107

β€œAn Opening in Rome” #108

β€œShe Would Have Fallen” (story told by Peggy Guggenheim, in Venice) #97

β€œSurprised by Joy” (in the Jeu de Paume) #161

β€œAlways Having Paris” #170

β€œNot an Actor” (meeting Peter O’Toole) #146


β€œA Glimpse of Politics” #221

β€œAlone in the Dark” (in a Roman ruin in Tunisia, in 1964-65) #118

β€œNothing Happened” (a cistern) #173

β€œRiesman’s Crowd” (teaching β€œAmerican Character & Social Structure)#187

β€œDipping into the Law” (a year in New haven) #159

β€œModernisms at Stanford” #233

β€œThe Ranch as Refuge” (west of Palo Alto, CA, in 196 8-71) #123

β€œThe Ranch as Teacher” #222

β€œMerits of Play” #205

β€œSecond Thoughts” (first responder) #144

β€œAs the Wheel Turns in Japan” (at the Katsura Imperial Villa, around 1971) #122

β€œLesson from Starting a School” (helping to found a grad school at the Wright Institute in Berkeley) #117

β€œImprovement of Teaching” #225

β€œCorn by thre Roaring Fork” (celebrity picnic)#167

β€œWhen a City Went Dark” (Manhattan blackouts) #154

β€œNeglected Art” (Whitney Counterweight) #200

β€œWhen a Cello’s Ready to Sing” (a love poem) #132

β€œReframing a Task” #149


(for this period, see also my book, Enlarging Our Comfort Zones)

β€œYes But What Does It Mean?” (starting to paint) #128

β€œBook Creation Coach” #234

β€œRunning with Deer” (on Point Reyes) #163

β€œFamily of Origin” #195

β€œRoadside Attractions”#186

β€œAshes in the Air” #182

β€œWhen the Nuclear Arms Race Became a Thing” (a summit between Gorbachev and Reagan in Reykjavik, Iceland) #99

β€œA Nuclear Secret” (a conversation over coffee with a former Khrushchev aide) #09

β€œLet’s Pretend” (a meeting of citizen diplomats) #220

β€œLiving Through Little Disasters” (in the San Francisco Bay Area) #168

β€œRedefining Wealth” #224


β€œAngie’s Way” (learning from Angeles Arrien) #129

β€œBig Island of Hawaii” #188

β€œWhy You Were Shone to the Sun" (meditation on freckles in a poetry workshop with David Whyte) #127

β€œGrandmother Moon” (making her acquaintance) #135

β€œRaven in the Stern” (journey in a spirit canoe) #137

β€œBrothers in the Market of Rugs” (in Marrakech, Morocco, in the 1990s) #126

β€œIsaac Newton as Cowboy” (a visit to one of England’s great houses, in the 1990s) #113

β€œIf We Struck It Rich” (in Hawaii) #162

β€œAnother Level of Being There” (visit to Ricky Leacock, a filmmaker in Paris, in the 1990s) #109

β€œGrowing Up Under Authoritarian Rule” (an adolescence in war-time Amsterdam, lived by Robbert Van Santen in 1940-45, described by CKC in the 1990s) #116

Early Ashland (starting in 2000)

β€œThe Making of a Teacher” (a review of Keith Martin-Smith’s biography of Zen Master JunPo Denis Kelly Roshi) #41

β€œBecause You Can Be Taken Only by Surprise” (life on the path) #134

β€œHealthy Masculinity” (Bill Kauth and the Mankind Project, or MKP) #60

β€œAn Incubator for Social Inventions” (participating in the Relentless Optimists) #119

β€œAbundance Gifting” (annual event founded by Jeff Golden) #52

β€œHe Must Be in Love” (meeting my wife, Shoshanah Dubiner, in 2004) #120

β€œOrchids and Laptops in Panama” (2005) #124

A Life Told in Paint” (review of the Charlotte Salomon exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco) #33

β€œWelcoming Warriors Home: The Film” (directed by Kim Shelton, produced by Bill McMillan, a documentary of a community ritual) #28

"Remembering a Buddhist Psychotherapy Pioneer" (Ron Kurtz, founder of Hakomi therapy) #22

Later Ashland

β€œJust Stopped Eating” (Mom’s dying) #156

β€œProgressive Condition” (living with a diagnosis) #148

β€œMocha for the Brothers” (a coffee club) #175

β€œPlaying at Any Old Age” (hosting a TV show called β€œLike Wow!”) #121

β€œGifts from Canada” #192

β€œFree Caribbean Cruise” (telephone solicitations) #147

β€œImporting That Shimmer” (the art of Shoshanah Dubiner) #172

β€œIt Wasn’t the Troops Who Lacked Courage” (on documentary about the war in Vietnam) #176

β€œNuclear Luck” #231

β€œMoments of Awe” #232

β€œA Graceful Ending” (a death with dignity) #110

My adventures in the 1980s and very early 1990s are described at length in a book, Enlarging Our Comfort Zones: A Life of Unexpected Destinations (2016), including friendship with such mentors as Yosal Rogat (a professor at Stanford) and Don Carlson (founder of the Ark Foundation)

My personal website includes links to my recent books and all internet articles, excerpts from other writing, samples of paintings and photographs, biography, and so forth

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