From the category archives:

Death and dying

This column also appears in the Orange County Register.

As dropped cell phone calls become a daily irritation, the jarring experience of losing a conversation in mid-sentence has become routine.  The ugly wart on the nose of wireless communication, what once served as the triumphant but rude ending to an angry conversation has become a daily frustration.  The original hang-up technique, signifying an almost monarchical dismissal, that harsh bang sending combatant lovers to their corners, now seems rather quaint by comparison. [click to continue…]

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This column originally appeared in the Orange County Register.

In response to the queries of persistent readers who have been awaiting a new column since late June, I thank you for your notice and offer this little essay in response.  In case you’ve ever wondered, the English word essay comes from the French word essayer, meaning “to try.”  An essay represents an effort to formulate and communicate ideas.  An essay, therefore, is a writer’s attempt to use language to forge a connection with a reader. [click to continue…]

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Post image for Aging: the coda to life’s mythic themes

This column originally appeared in the Orange County Register.

“He’s gotten completely paranoid and is speaking in vernacular I don’t recognize,” my friend explained slowly and evenly, though clearly in an anxious state.  “The psychiatrist put him on medication, and I don’t know why.  I think he’s having a bad reaction.” [click to continue…]

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This column originally appeared in the Orange County Register.

Because I often emphasize the importance of mothers, mothering and the maternal, it may appear that I completely disregard the masculine and paternal.  I’ll clarify that by distinguishing between an actual mother and a maternal function.  Parental functions may be construed as active or passive, directive or receptive, calming or stimulating, separating or merging. [click to continue…]

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This column originally appeared in the Orange County Register

A screenwriter friend gave me an article discussing the salutary aspects of sadness and the ways in which our contemporary culture tends to quickly erase it or prematurely foreclose upon its gritty psychological usefulness in a quest for perennial cheery happiness.  As if happiness were a concrete object one could hold instead of a transitory state of being, one of many, that links specific inner notations of experience with external ones. [click to continue…]

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