if Icarus never flew

Icarus failed because he took his trusty wings too close to the sun. He died in a triumphant rebuke of what he had been taught. He crashed back down to earth so that we could all be reminded that no matter our own wants or skills, the sun will always burn too hot. But what…

should you should

The push towards self-improvement is fierce in American culture. It permeates medicine, food, clothing, how we walk, how we breath, how we talk to each other and set our time. The spider weaves a beautiful web to catch it’s prey, leaving glistening threads stretched across gaps, waiting. The mentality of self-improvement are invisible lines to…

“I’m taking the year off…to…um…write”

I am embarking on a strange new way of living, one that is structured only by my own self-discipline, rewarded in a currency of my own making, and with a high possibility of some type of failure. After ten years of teaching in a formal high school classroom, I am leaving behind that structure to live amongst…

legitimize my ass

Raise the youth to never believe in dictated declarations of legitimacy. No dress code, no code of conduct, implicit nor explicit politeness are needed when a person is anchored in a deep sense of empathy and truth.

rest-abundant muse

The restless muse The term ought not be restless, rather it should be rest-abundant, my muse has been dormant for too long. Now it tugs and begs and cajoles and dares me to feed it. Where once I was content to do what had to be done, my inner imp continues to berate me with…

writing takes so much out of me. I am in a new land, with plenty to explore, but the words just follow me everywhere. Shame, queasy, face crinkled in confusion, seeking respite. I just want it to be over, I just want it to be done, and then what, stash it away or gasp share…

fear of mediocrity

I was a mediocre photographer. It was one of my creative outlets when I was younger, an outlet I thought could perhaps be refined and polished. I took a few great photographs, but I could not be consistent nor obsessive in the necessary way an artist must be. I learned the core components of a…

East African frostbite

On some national public radio, feel good story about the immigrant experience and programs that help newly arrived immigrants cope with the freezing Minnesota winters, they talked with one of the teachers, an East African man who had arrived 15 years prior. He talked on the point of how impossible it is to imagine finger…

memory in a double helix

I forgive the Nazis. My DNA was marked by the fear and hatred generated in Germany. Parts of my DNA were destroyed by those people. A book was written espousing why my father and grandmother and grandfather and cousins ought to be viewed as subhuman. People gained and maintain power and wealth from the insistence…

letter to my teens

When I am here, within these wall, and in conversation with you, I am in the role of a teacher. That role has certain privileges and responsibilities. But I am also a community member of the city of Boston, and know the ins and outs of this place. When meetings like this one happen, it…

count all the things that might kill you

I consider myself rather immune to the fear mongering that is the media’s bread and butter, but I am always amazed by how slick they can slip ideas into my subconscious. So here are the things that might kill me that have crossed my mind today: my birth control sleeping with my cell phone on,…

Fake it until you Make it

Faking it perhaps sounds like a horrible mantra. Faking, pretending, posturing, projecting – may sound like excuses for lying. I am not fond of lying, actually I find myself to be particularly inept at it. Blatant honesty or uncomfortable silence are my two modis operandi. But lying, deceit, manipulation make my stomach ache and I feel…