Within a few days we’ll be celebrating the publication of Burning Down the Fireproof Hotel, the spiritual memoir I’ve been working on for three and a half years. Thanks to so many of you readers who’ve asked when it’ll be out, helped in editing, cheerleading, various ways. The countdown continues….
I was on the subway coming home from my workplace downtown. A man changed seats mid-ride and sat unusually close to another passenger. He leaned over too far into a man’s personal space and began looking at the other’s laptop screen. My anxiety rose. We all know not to do this, don’t we? I got up and moved seats, far away.
I’m not proud of this.
In a minute or so, the man came and sat directly in front of me,
I was playing a game with two toddlers and another adult. Everybody understood the rules: walk around until you’re instructed to sit down on your choice of colorful silk scarves spread out on the ground. And then we’ll take turns telling stories based on the color we’re each sitting on.
The younger of the two little girls doesn’t yet talk much in a traditional, technically accurate way, though she has specific sounds and understands any and everything. The other three of us have quite a lot to say,
My granddaughter fell off her little bike and scraped her finger. Blood flowed. Or trickled, more accurately. She cried. Blood, as we all know, is B-A-D. Our bodily integrity has been compromised. We’ve been affected, impacted by something outside of us. And it’s B-A-D. Or so we believe.
After tending appropriately to my granddaughter (she IS three, after all), I told her what I really thought, “A little blood is good. It means you were doing something cool and you tried something new.
There is one segment of our population which is not experiencing much spaciousness. It is veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder).
We sent this group off to war, they did their jobs and, as a result, many have been so traumatized by their experiences, they’ve come back home unable to cope with civilian life. Our government provides inadequate treatments that fail to help, rocketing a startling suicide rate.
The New York Times ran an article recently profiling one of these vets and his dysfunctional,
We’re excited about our guest post today. Here’s a bit about the writer and then her piece in its entirety:
Catherine Woodiwiss writes on faith, policy, and culture; co-runs a design platform; compulsively joins or builds community networks around shared interests and values; and plays music whenever possible. A chronic “Yes, And”-er, she tells us she is also a huge fan of SPACIOUS, and we’re grateful for that.
For someone who loves conversation,
If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a noise?
If I eat my lunch alone and no one else sees it, does it truly nourish me?
Aren’t those variations of the same question: “Must a human being be present for something to matter?” Or in the case of the second question: “Must a second human being be present for me to feel significant?”
Everybody is posting food photos… Instagram,
For anybody who ever mooned over the quote, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye,” (That would be me!) or for anybody who just loved The Little Prince (or Le Petit Prince), or for anybody who hates war, or knows that simple kindness can thwart disaster, read Maria Popova’s piece entitled, “How a Smile Saved Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Life: A Soul-Lifting Meditation on our Shared Humanity.
SPACIOUS is about community and opening up our hearts, so when Cary spoke to me last year about guest blogs, what came to mind was the almost magical sharing that went on between people who surrounded me during the time I was in treatment for oral cancer in 2012 and 2013. With my family far from the DC area and living on my own, in large part I was making treatment decisions and going to radiation, surgeries, and other medical appointments by myself.
Today’s guest post is from Agam Rafaeli (pictured in the hat), who will introduce himself below. I (Cary) had the chance to meet him at the recent wedding of Joey and Rebecca Katona, when Joey told me that Agam was someone he particularly wanted me to meet. In the spirit of the post below, Agam and I were both eager to make a new friend and connect around our mutual love of Joey. So we slipped away from the band during the reception and spent a little time getting to know each other.