It is forbidden to despair

“It is forbidden to despair,” said Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, a 19th century Hasidic teacher who suffered from depression. I imagine him pounding his fist on a table in a dimly lit room, shouting those words to his demons. Fifty years ago, TV screens flickered with images of policemen unleashing dogs on peaceful civil rights…

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I (Heart) Public Art

The disappearance of the mural on the John Hancock Tower is bumming me out. The first time I saw the vinyl “pasting,” I was driving and had a hard time keeping my eyes on the road. As weeks passed, the image became a welcome surprise every time I was driving east on the Mass Pike…

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On the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings

In the long, sad run-up to the 2014 running of the Boston Marathon, I’ve been thinking about the families of the four people who died. The youngest was a baby, only eight years old, standing near the finish line with his family. The oldest was a twenty-nine-year-old woman with an impish smile and a reputation…

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POP UP MEMORIALS IN BOSTON

I’ve been walking into walls the past few days, trying to make myself believe that Boston was a target of terrorism — is a target of terrorism. I had to watch that video 20 times for it to sink in: The plume of white smoke, the screams, the second explosion, the heroic rush to rescue.…

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Wind Turbines

  Learning to Love (?) Wind Turbines The wind turbine is officially a sanctioned icon of American ingenuity, on display in (what seems like) three out of five car commercials. As the newest model Chevy or Toyota zips by, the Brooklyn and Golden Gate Bridges signify urban prowess from sea to shining sea, the vast…

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Inaugural poetry

Poetry in Motion: The Inaugural Offering   On Monday, the millions who tuned into watch the second inauguration of President Obama heard Richard Blanco read his open, “One Today.”  One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores, peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth across…

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