On Dying and Being Known

On Dying and Being Known

When we encounter a death, we are apt to spend time thinking about the qualities of the deceased, often in ways that we did not during their lives. Perhaps this has to do with our search for meaning – our need to associate purpose and significance with important events. By engaging in this process of holding and celebrating the lives of those who have died, we honor them, and place them and ourselves in a circle of caring and connection. In the absence of this engagement, we are more easily able to ignore their personhood, separate ourselves from them, and miss the opportunity to connect.

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The Ides of March

The Ides of March

Today is the 15th of March – the Ides of March. It’s a Roman day of religious observances, but perhaps best known as the day of Julius Caesar’s assassination, in 44 BC. It’s important to me for another reason – my mother’s birthday. She is far from my home in California, living in the south of England,Read more about The Ides of March[…]

BIG and Small

BIG and Small

Glen Small and Bjarke Ingels: vive la difference. Architect Glen Small writes about Bjarke Ingels in this article. The comparison is interesting: Both are full of energy and ideas. Their architectural strategies have a number of things in common. But they could not be more different from a business perspective. The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) hasRead more about BIG and Small[…]

Saint Osama?

Saint Osama?

This controversial piece was written to try to counteract the black-and-white, good and evil, freedom versus terrorist rhetoric that abounded following the 9/11 attacks. Now several years on, I think it still has merit. We see the US and other governments spending enormous resources on war, creating enormous pain and division, while there are many humanitarian causes that would not only have benefited directly from those funds, but that would go some way to building bridges between East and West, Christian and Moslem. It is deeply disappointing that fear and anger continue to prevail, where in truth compassion – and compassionate action – seems much more likely to create sustainable progress.

Attending Aurora Theater’s marvelous “Saint Joan” last week in Berkeley, I was struck by the parallels between the life of this fifteenth century warrior and our current nemesis in Afghanistan. Joan of Arc was a religious extremist who believed that God gave her precise instructions, independent of the advice of the established church or civil government. She also spoke of “France” and “England” in a day when both land masses were ruled in haphazard fashion by feudal lords. Read more about Saint Osama?

A Sailor’s View

A Sailor’s View

This was written for a US publication called “Spinsheet” that serves the yachting community. Following the attacks on New York and Washington, the paper asked readers to contribute their thoughts. With September 11th approaching again, I thought it was worth reprinting. Here’s what I wrote.

Sailing connects me with the planet, and with all the peoples of the world. It is easy to forget in these difficult times that the US is not the center of the universe, and that we are not the only people to have suffered a terrorist attack or to have lost innocent citizens in recent years. Yet every time we climb into a boat, and head away from the dock, we are physically connected, through the seas that surround the globe, to our fellow-travelers across the world. Read more about A Sailor’s View

Safely home again

Safely home again

We came in from San Francisco without event. The security here was a little tougher than we’d seen at Heathrow – our carry on bags were briefly searched at the gate right before we climbed on the plane.