En route

Tomorrow morning I leave for Shanghai, where I’ll be leading a workshop for the China office of ArtGym, a company founded by my good friend and colleague, Eugene Hughes—all about developing real creativity in the business world and taking the plunge not just to rise in the corporation, but to make a real difference in the world.

It’s a long flight—15+ hours. Fortunately, I love to fly. I regard plane trips as marvelous adventures that have the added benefit of landing you in a place away from the familiar (or else back home) that you then get to explore. When I get on a plane, I’m equipped with a good book, a crossword puzzle or two, a Parabola Magazine, a cashmere shawl for comfort, and my own down travel pillow. I always get a window seat, and I spend at least as much time looking out as looking down (or across at the screen).

Here are just a few of the amazing things I’ve seen from the window of a plane:

  • the ice of Greenland
  • a full moon shining on the snowy Himalayan Mountains
  • an aurora borealis that waved and rippled for almost an hour
  • the Gobi Desert
  • the Black and Caspian Seas looking exactly as they did in the geography books I had as a kid
  • the place where Ganges and Yamana River meet.

See you when I get back!


What I’m Reading

Instead of writing about what I’m reading, I want to recommend a “This American Life” show that I listened to the other day. This episode is called “How I Got Into College,” and the story that captivated me is “My Ames is True.” It’s about a young Bosnian boy who steals a library book when he and his family flee to the U.S. during the 1990s war. He credits this book and what happens to him because of it with changing his life. The story is not just about the book and the boy but about his particular outlook on life. Fascinating.

 

News & Links

My new book comes is officially out a week from tomorrow! You can pre-order here. Today did a great interview with Dean Spillane Walker of Living Resilience, colleague of those fierce gazers into grief, Carolyn Baker and Francis Weller. It was a great conversation, not an interview that follows a prepared list of questions. Will post the link when it’s available.

 

 A Savory Moment

I live about 45 minutes north of the city of Scranton and have always viewed it as a rather tired place. It had its greatness in the beginning of the 20thcentury, but with the decline of coal mining in surrounding areas, it, too, has declined. The other night, my husband and I met friends of ours there to try a new restaurant. The restaurant was mediocre and the noise level was torturous, so we decided to walk over to a coffee shop and clear our minds and have a real conversation. It was a gorgeous night, perfect late-summer weather, and as we walked the several blocks to the coffee shop, twilight was just turning to night. There were pink balloons and pink items in storefronts because the city had just that morning sponsored a run to support breast cancer research. Andy and our friend Jake walked ahead, while Jo and I ambled behind with her old dog, who was enjoying sniffing her way along the sidewalks. We paused to look across a public square at the rear facades of a whole row of lovely old buildings. At that moment, in that spell of evening and gentle weather and a city that did some good work that morning, I kind of fell in love with Scranton. It was as if I had never really seen her before. The next day Jo sent me a photo she took of those buildings. I told her about my falling-in-love, and she said that had happened for her, too.

 

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