Ecclesiastes

If you're scouting for summer reading, the book of "Ecclesiastes" does not jump out as a first choice. Still, it is what a study partner and I undertook over several recent weeks. My partner, Josh, as I'll call him, is the latest of three or four students from a well-known Jewish theological seminary whom I've met over several years.
Helen Keller's early frustration and despondence at her inability to communicate is no different than our own daily, existential anxiety. Each of us is, necessarily, subject to limitations, and, accordingly, to limited perspective.
Cellist Zuill Bailey's latest recording, Muhly & Bloch, combines the world premiere recording of Nico Muhly's Cello Concerto with Ernest Bloch's Schelomo and Three Jewish Poems.
The speech 'Our revels now are ended' is famous as Shakespeare's farewell address to us, his audience. It is usually delivered indirectly to the theater audience by the retiring magician Prospero near the end of The Tempest , the last play written entirely by Shakespeare and written at the end of his career.
In preparation for one of our high school reunion many years after graduation, the chairperson of our reunion suggested that each of us write about the best time of our lives. I gave this careful thought and simply wrote: "The present is the best time of my life."
"These our actors, as I foretold you, were all spirits and are melted into air, into thin air: and...leave not a rack behind
I am not in the likeness of Christ today. Sometimes I wonder, for all of our studying, worshiping and evangelism, how many of us even ever catch a glimpse of what we're really supposed to be about. For today, my only prayer is taken straight from Ecclesiastes: Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
The working conditions for teachers in North Carolina have become untenable. On Facebook and Twitter, I am inundated with updates from my home state, pleas from fellow North Carolina Teaching Fellow alumni about their bottom-of-the-barrel pay and their worthless Master's degrees.
The ability to stop and breathe is one of the most important -- and neglected -- skills we have. We often don't take a moment and just breathe into a situation, and too often we panic and forget ourselves.
We can find a soupçon of happiness -- even joy -- through sharing food with others, through being mindful of (but not crushed by) issues of sustainability and justice.
What is it about season changes that we long for? Sure the new growth and fresh start of Spring excites us after a long winter. But so too do the crack of the baseball bat and hot summer nights, or the crispness of fall mornings.
Ten seconds left in a basketball game is an eternity, even 5 seconds or less if you are only down by one. Two minutes left in a football game, if the score is close, is an eternity.
As a kid I was thankful for my Barbie and her "house". As a teenager I was thankful for a career in acting that kept me busy. Now, as a Post50 woman, I am thankful for all the ups and downs along the way, all the seeds that have been sown that have led me to this new season of gratitude.
Which is it? Is the release of Gilad a time of sadness or joy? Is it a time of upset or elation? Is it the time to mourn with the mind or celebrate with the heart?
Thinking about the prospect of only having several months to live, I wonder how many of us could do what Dudley is doing while he is dying -- living one day at a time?
The joy of the dancers and their friends ignited joy in me. It reminded me that it doesn't take much to connect to it. Joy has the power to lead us out of our minds and into our souls.
Something has gone seriously wrong when Democrats can convince themselves that their path back to popularity lies in cutting Social Security and leaving poor people to freeze in the dark.
I had the unusual experience of being asked to officiate at two funerals. While never exactly enjoyable, I find that they are reflection opportunities bar none. Nothing is quite as sobering as witnessing that final brief journey from surface to deep six.
Jacob's wanting more is hardly an ambition that we in the 21st century could condemn with a straight face. Where it gets both morally murky and strikingly familiar is the path he chooses for acquiring more.