Doing what feels right (instead of what we wish felt right)

If you read yesterday's post, you know I'm processing some intense feelings these days. Feelings of shame, of loss, and — at the same time — hope. All tied to finally, finally listening to my intuition and becoming the artist I'm meant to be. So when Facebook reminded me of this blog post that my friend Lauree … Continue reading Doing what feels right (instead of what we wish felt right)

A story about buttering bread and learning to ask “why?”

We were in high school, young and in love, and my parents had invited us to join them for dinner at a nice Italian restaurant in Washington, DC.

As we waited for our meals to arrive, we all started to help ourselves to the bread basket sitting in the middle of the table. Jordan began smoothing butter across the slice of bread he'd selected.

"Jordan," one of my parents said (I can't remember which one). "That's not the way to butter bread."

"Sorry — what?"

"The way you're doing it, putting all the butter on at once. It's more polite to tear off a piece at a time and butter each piece — like this," my parent showed him.

Jordan looked around like he might be on an episode of Candid Camera — like, "Was this shit for real?" — and then proceeded to ask a very reasonable question: "Why?"

Now, I say this was a reasonable question, and it was. You might also argue that it was an obvious one. And you might wonder, now that you find yourself thinking about it, why anyone would ever go along with a prescribed way of applying butter to bread without asking why.

It had never occurred to me to ask why.

There are certain things that happen in your life, and from that point forward, you think, always, in terms of "before" and "after." For me, this moment — the moment with the buttering of the bread — was one of those moments.

A reminder that expressing yourself authentically is worth the risk

Thank you to the spoken word poet Sarah Kay for your presence at Creative Mornings NYC this morning, where you captivated my attention. For someone to captivate me these days is really quite a feat, with Twitter just a click away and my busy mind and so many other distractions. Witnessing your truth flowing through was an electric experience. You viscerally compelled me to remember the importance of saying what I mean with the full power of my being; you reminded me, too, of the beauty of doing so, and the shame in concealing such beauty.

As the world burns, does personal writing matter?

After he won, I vowed I'd write more, would wield the keys of my laptop like a sword — but this sword has stayed in its sheath. Not because I'm a pacifist in this war, no, not at all, but because there are so many other battles I'm also fighting, every day, as the world burns. As the world burns, I'm unemployed. And I'm uncertain about what the next chapter holds — what I want it to hold. And sometimes, it feels like a farce, to be considering such things, as democracy is dismantled all around me. What does it matter, anyway? But then optimism takes the reins, and I tell myself, life must go on...

Why Oprah’s chit-chat with Trump voters makes me mad

I'm uncomfortable with the false equivalency that the "let's all just share our feelings at a diner with Oprah" frame sets up. I want us to all understand each other better, I do. Do I love Trump supporters? I do. Do I wish them ill? I do not. But let's be clear: They are in the wrong. Period. Do they have very human reasons that may not consciously involve bigotry for voting for the man? I'm sure many of them do. But they are morally in the wrong and the onus is on them to wake up to what's happening and begin acting to protect their fellow Americans' freedoms and our safety. We need to be very, very clear about that.