Recent writings

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  • Reach Out and Touch Some-Thing

    Geraldine Weichman, handprint Passover towel, 1981. Los Angeles. Photo credit: Jodi Eichler-Levine.

    “Let’s get in touch.”

    “I feel like I’m losing touch with you.”

    “That was a touching tribute.”

    The English language is littered with metaphors of touch that tend to revolve around connection between people. Such word use creates an almost psychic understanding that communication, even when conducted over Wi-Fi and satellite transmissions, can still allow us, as the old AT&T commercial had it, to “reach out and touch someone.” We “touch” each other even when we are a thousand miles away.

    Many of us have rediscovered this during the coronavirus lockdown, reconnecting with friends and family over the phone, Skype, and Zoom. We see and hear those we love through a screen, and we are touched. Of course, this experience has also shown us the limitations of communication, that ultimately, our metaphors are not reality.

    [Read the rest at Beacon Broadside]

  • What a Father Learned from Captain Fantastic


    The other day, “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” the classic rock song by Guns N’ Roses, popped up on my car radio and I started weeping. If you’ve seen Captain Fantastic, you might know why.

    The film has a longer emotional half-life than most as it taps not only into a stockpile of sentiments, but also triggers family ties that have kept its sounds and images bouncing about my life well after the houselights turned back on. For days following, every time I looked at my children I thought of the film. And an old hard rock song that I never much cared for now makes me cry.

    Captain Fantastic has nothing to do with superheroes, or anything “super” for that matter.... 

    [Read the rest at Sacred Matters]