Immediately after the 2016 presidential election, I took off for a 10-day trip, first to Los Angeles, and then to Salt Lake City for an international tradeshow on Supercomputing. Wherever I went, almost every taxi driver, theater-goer, restaurant worker, and fellow tradeshow exhibitor and attendee I talked to mentioned the election results. Since this tradeshow of more than 11 thousand attendees included people from all over the world, I heard an interesting mix of points of view. With only a single exception, every person expressed shock and dismay. Continue reading
Back in the mid 1990s, on a quest for good Thai food, my partner and I happened upon an artistic oasis in Lake Oswego, an upscale suburban burg a bit south of Portland, Oregon.
Tucked away in a neglected alley in the center of town, we found a wall covered in art. Continue reading
Disagree about politics and religion and whatever, but don’t “unfriend” your REAL friends over it.
You don’t have to be a victim in order to be outraged over what is being said in the national conversation about sexual harassment. Here are three out of the many reasons why everyone should be shocked and upset regardless of who you voted for.
Especially if you do not hold a religious view, art that depends on magic, religion, and spirituality can sometimes lead to eye rolling. Even as an atheist living in a culture steeped in Christianity, I like to keep myself open to the value of introspection and awe.
Whether the art we encounter is in a book, film, television show, music, painting, or other form: how does the non-spiritual person navigate art in this society? We do it by remembering that art is, as is all beauty, in the eye of the beholder.
I love being at a tradeshow when it closes. At the moment it closes, as the exhausted exhibitors applaud, chaos and hubbub ensue as the workers emerge from the loading docks and start tearing it all down. It is an organized, frenzied orchestra of elation and exhaustion.
Try to find the positive: it’s usually lurking around somewhere if you look. Sometimes you have to grab it by the lapels or the scruff of the neck to bring it round, but you can always find it.
I think it is important that people carve out head space in their mental lives to ponder questions of existence and meaning. It’s what gives us depth and puts us in touch with a reserve of somethingness/nothingness that can be very powerful. Some people use religion to tap into that energy, some people are the victims of religion as they are shielded from the ability to tap into it, and some people just stay the hell away from the religious stuff to venture out on their own.