All posts in A Non Linear Life

Seeking Redemption

For grades eight through ten, I attended boarding school. It was a small co-ed school without cliques and the girls in the dorms got along well enough. But one night I was part of a group of about six girls who bullied another girl. The incident was a one-time thing. There was no name calling or physical contact and once the event was over there were no lingering snickers or a retelling of the tale at breakfast the next morning. Nonetheless, it was nasty behavior and a gross example of peer pressure upon someone more vulnerable than any of the

Are Writers Obsolete?

The best writing connects the reader to the emotions and thoughts of the author or the author’s subjects. Divulge on the page what we have shielded within and the reader will stay with the story until the last paragraph. But as we become accustomed to Tweets and Instagrams are we also becoming less inclined to read anything over 140 characters long? (at this point this is 319 characters and counting; still reading?)

The on-line magazine Slate goes so far as to label each story with how many minutes are needed to read the story. (This will take one and a half

I Am The Forty Percent

Nearly 40% of people who have lived in more than one community don’t consider home to be where they are currently living. Count me among the 40%. I still answer “Los Angeles” when someone asks where home is even though I have been in Seattle 10 years and have no intention of living in Southern California again. At least I’m not among the pathetic 4% who consider home to be where they went to high school.

The question of home is a vexing one for me. It does not hinge on quality of life (the social, physical and emotional parts of

Ravaged Or Ravishing: Picturing Your Best Self

I am a voracious reader of obituaries. Inevitably, the accompanying photo of the deceased is decades old, taken before age or disease has set in, and selected so as to sear in our mind, an image of the person at their physical peak. Gone are the gaunt cheeks, the papery hands, the bleached, bony legs. Back for your viewing pleasure are the sparkling eyes, smooth neck and coifed hair. Hell, any hair. But what happens when your physical best and your psychological best are years apart? What picture do you choose when your best

A Non-Linear Life

In a cupboard in my office is a stack of calendars I used for way too many years after digital calendars came along. Some of the rubber-banded pages fit Filofax, some DayPlanners and I know there is a similar pile in a plastic bin in the garage. Should a detective want to know my whereabouts on July 22nd, 1985 at 2 pm, I can find that calendar, flip to the day in question and have the beginnings of a perfect alibi. The calendars record milestones like the dates of IVF attempts, a multitude of back surgeries, the court appointment to

Non-Linear Moment of the Day

Today I woke my daughter early to take her to the dentist for a cleaning. She is home on break from college and sleeping in is a protected pleasure. I ignored her grumping in the car, as I demonstrated the skillful driving that enabled me to hit every red light between home and Bellevue. The only green we saw for 15 miles looked like a tree. Checking in, book in-hand ready to pass an hours’ time, the receptionist informed me that I was the patient, not Maggie. The kid spent her

Mrs. Simon Makes A Call

Zen and Jewish Women

Rest assured my love for all things suede and most things leather prohibit me becoming vegan. My even greater affinity for clean shaven arm pits (women only) keep me a safe distance from communal meditation. Nonetheless, because the whole point of this blog is to consider concepts, views and topics we might not come across and might make us uncomfortable, I want to share an idea I’ve recently read about Zen practices. Not venturing too far from my roots, all the authors I am reading are short, round, Jewish women who no doubt answer to the name

Why Read This?

You should read this blog for the same reason I should write this blog: to re-calibrate our place in the world. For all I know, you are the happiest person on earth, dunked in karma so gold it is amazing you are not locked in the vault every time you go to the bank. [Does anyone actually go to a bank anymore?] But even if you are at peace, have no fears, are able to give and receive love, never feel like flipping off the driver ahead of you, are secure in all your relationships, had an undamaged childhood, know

What’s Next

Expect to read about recognizing and navigating non-linear lives. Topics that will course through the discussion are horses, memories, bravery, fear, values, clarity, charity, the dilemmas of truth, the concepts of home, the sense of belonging, and the challenges of aging. We will look at the daily events that contribute to making our lives non-linear and as I get more comfort-able, I will lead the discussion to the stuff we all think (at least I think others think) but won’t divulge. It’s the human story, folks. Somebody has to tell it