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In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don't try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.
Lao Tzu

Blossoms on the Vine—Chapter Ten

 

Little Winking Lights

By the time my second summer following enrollment at KU arrived, the seismic shift in the nation’s culture was well underway. Protests against the war in Vietnam had erupted everywhere. The whole character of the music was evolving—Dylan, The Mamas and the Papas, Simon and Garfunkel, Joplin were all bringing […]

Blossoms on the Vine—Chapter Eight

Mister Muscles and the Music Man—Part II

The next weekend, as it turned out, would unfold some unfortunate and disappointing happenings. My old girlfriend from Kansas State, Linda, came through Lawrence Saturday evening returning from an educational conference and stopped by to visit me. It was strictly forbidden for women to be in […]

Blossoms on the Vine—Chapter Eight

Mister Muscles and the Music Man—Part I

He was waiting on the corner just beyond the student union, two textbooks nestled beneath his left arm, the ebb and flow of student bodies between classes energetically scurrying around and past, lending him that “forgotten” appearance like a lone leaf adrift on a stream. The […]

Blossoms on the Vine–the Memoir

As indicated in my former post, I’m forgoing for a time contemporary perplexities and reaching back into the past with a series of excerpts from my memoir-in-progress, Blossoms on the Vine: The Road and the People. I’ll be posting chapters as I complete them; however, some readers may recall three chapters have already appeared on […]

2018: Transitions, Cessations, and Resumptions

The big 75th-year signpost is dead ahead in January, and this old frame and motor has really begun to reveal its wear and tear. The latest, following on the heels of a prostate cancer diagnosis (the “watchful waiting” variety), was the sudden appearance of atrial flutter, a rapid and irregular pulse. One can adjust and […]

A Natural History of Sexual Harassment: Darwin to Lauer

Well, good heavens! It seems every morning we’re waking up now to news of another masculine celebrity accused and smacked down careerwise for, you guessed it, “sexual harassment.” Yes siree. Ailes, O’Reilly, Weinstein, Spacey, Rose, Louis C. K., Franken, Conyers, Seagal, Hoffman, Halperin, Keillor, Stone, Affleck, Lauer, James Levine, even old daddy H.W. Bush—and all […]

Kitsch, Decadence and the Why of Donald Trump

The artistic concept of “decadence,” as either a movement or a condition, can be traced back at least to the eighteenth century and appears and reappears (think Baudelaire, Oscar Wilde, 1920s Berlin, etc.) moving forward up to the present time. And it would seem, in the broadest sense of that word, that once again we’re […]

To Bloom Where You’re Planted—or Not?

My old friend the acclaimed ecstatic poet Paul Goldman and I often debate differing points of view on where today the world is headed. While he believes we’re transitioning into a golden, harmonious state for humanity, I, on the other hand, am of the persuasion that, although humankind may get to “collective heaven” eventually, there […]

Homeless in Paradise: Alice and Dwight

We lost a good friend to the grim reaper a month ago. A great conversationalist and world traveler (he’d been an airline pilot), Bob hadn’t wasted a minute of the 94 years of life he’d been granted, and he left behind a multimillion-dollar estate to his son and daughter. They held a “life-celebration” gathering at […]

The Extinction of the 21st Century Optimist

For a good many years now, I’ve seen myself as someone nurturing hope personally and optimism generally. Pessimism, to me, just seemed to be a dog that wouldn’t hunt, an inaccurate reflection of all reality, and not a prescription for a satisfying life. When things went awry, one could always—like Annie’s classic song “Tomorrow” expresses—look […]