Work for the Long Haul

We have to keep expecting more of ourselves. This means questioning our questions, and, more importantly, stepping out of the “I” mentality that keeps our focus inward rather than on the real stakes: People’s lives and systems designed to denigrate and destroy individual dignity and entire communities.

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Baby Steps Towards a Book

What I want, more than anything, is to feel connected to myself and to others. To find form for what lives in me and yearns for a worldly shape. Stories, for me, and yes, books, are one of those recognizable shapes — a way of literally holding, and offering to others, one’s lived experience — and also of letting it go.

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Petrozavodsk, 1990

But I couldn’t help myself. My love of Russia began to bang up against something else: The undeniable truth that Jews had left this place in droves, in search of the religious and cultural freedom of expression. Sure, some small communities had cropped up, particularly in the bigger cities, but here in the north, Jews were an anomaly — suspicious, strange, other.

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Creativity is Messy: Questions to Explore When You’re Being Harsh with Yourself

Binary thinking doesn’t serve us. In this (or any) context, an all or nothing, either/or approach is not useful. As humans, we’re inevitably going to bring many thoughts and feelings to any table. The question, I suppose, is in how we can regard these — especially when there is inner turmoil or conflict — with some gentleness.

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