The two Ds

Ann Patchett wrote in her new book, The Story of a Happy Marriage, about thinking up stories in her head while waiting tables early in her writing career. She perfected this technique to the point where she was able to, essentially, write entire novels in her head before scribing them on a keyboard.

I wish I could do that! Oh, I can write in my head – I just can’t get through the “scribing” part.

In the absence of knowledge

A case in Robert’s law practice has got me thinking about what happens in humans’ brains when we see or hear something without any context. One issue has to do with what government investigators thought they were hearing on a wiretap. I hope what I’m learning from thinking about this will apply not only to my life with an N.E.D. cancer survivor (one with No Evidence of Disease) but also to other circumstances of my, and my family’s, life.

My escape from the center of the universe

One of the hardest life-lessons I’ve learned is that it’s not always “all about me.”

I recently listened to David Foster Wallace’s 2005 commencement address at Kenyon College and heard this theme addressed in a most cogent way. It made me go back and think about my own departure from that time of my life in which I was the center of the universe. I wish I had heard Wallace’s speech around the time I graduated from college – if I had been receptive, or even able to understand his concepts, I might have had an easier time earlier in my life.

New Year thoughts

As is typical at the end of the year, I’ve read/ watched/ heard a lot this week about “starting fresh” in 2014 – and at other, more important, life-markers. This is the first year that I have noticed the theme of forgiveness as a January 1 ritual – in a TV interview with a psychologist and in several pieces I read on the Internet. I don’t subscribe to the theory that a Yom Kippur-style cleansing is needed to go from one calendar year to the next, so I’ll try to dispense with that notion and then go on to my own transition from ’13 to ’14.

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