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Nuance has been incinerated

Tracy Dahlby, a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin, argues, in an article in The Dallas Morning News, that this country needs a better literary infrastructure. In his article, Dahlby quotes Frank Bruni, a New York Times columnist. Nuance, Bruni says, “has been incinerated by today’s hot takes….Much of what I read […]

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Simple or complex?

The Week magazine is celebrating 20 years of publishing with “a sampling of timeless observations” from its Wit & Wisdom column—and the quotes are marvelous. Here’s one. “If things were simple, word would have gotten around.” Those words came from philosopher Jacques Derrida—and originally appeared in

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I am not okay

I am okay. That’s what I frequently tell friends when they ask how I am doing during this coronavirus pandemic. And, I am okay—almost all of the time. But, sometimes I am not okay. Recently, a friend said that she had read an interview with a mental health expert who stressed that it is okay […]

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When is eventually?

My refrain is “stay safe.” Recently I have added, “Stay safe and sane.” Eventually, I know this virus crisis will be over. How long is eventually? I wonder if this Albert Camus quote is too dramatic: “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” –Joy

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Take a break

My husband Jerry read me another article about how long this virus crisis may last and how our lives may be changed forever. “Stop,” I told him. “I don’t want to hear it.” I will stay informed, but I am going to take a break now and then from all of the depressing news. –Joy

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“Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept,” says Jhumpa Lahiri, author of Interpreter of Maladies. “As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.”

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Content with silence

I found this short poem by Ansel Adams during the silent retreat I attended recently. When words become unclear, I shall focus on photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. –Joy

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The most common complaint

In her book Anything is Possible, Elizabeth Strout writes: She was “a woman who suffered only from the most common complaint of all: Life had simply not been what she thought it would be.” I’ve decided that Strout is one of my favorite authors, and I just read, both for the second time, her books […]

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The celebrity version of yourself

Too often we fear revealing ourselves as flawed, writes Ana Marie Cox in the June 13, 2018, issue of The Dallas Morning News. We create a gap between the “celebrity version” of ourselves and the version we prefer to keep hidden. That’s why we often are so generous to others. “When we see that messy, […]

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Everything is more complicated

Science has taught me that everything is more complicated than we first assume—and that being able to derive happiness from discovery is a recipe for a beautiful life,” says Dr. Hope Jahren, a geochemist and geobiologist. She spoke at the Dallas Women’s Foundation’s 32 annual luncheon in October.

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