Posts Tagged ‘Ritual’

A Magical Birthday Ritual

I just wished my late brother Jim a Happy Birthday on Facebook. He would have turned 58 today. I did the same thing two years ago, here on my blog.

If Jim were alive today we would’ve had our annual East-Coast/West-Coast mutual birthday call. My birthday is the day after his, so at midnight (Eastern) and 9:00pm (Pacific) we’d call each other. It was our little ritual, sort of like a secret handshake. 

1956-JimToday I remembered you in 1956, Jim: 11 months old, and NOT enjoying the photo shoot of you and your four siblings for the annual Christmas card. 

I was 9, and my heart went out to you as you waited around for the photographer to do what she could to make ALL FIVE of us photogenic, one at a time.

No wonder you were crying! Finally we found you a tiny, tinkling bell, and it cheered you up, though I see one little tear still glistening in your right eye.  

You just needed a little magic.

Jim with eBook



Now jump ahead 44 years.

There’s a picture of you in THE BOSS column of the NY Times. You talk about being paid $5 to invent a computer language when you were 12, and you’re holding your newest invention: the electronic book. 

The two photos remind me of our little ritual, but in the second one you supplied the magic. 

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, little bro… love you. Thanks for the magic.  

Talk to you at midnight.



“Remember the Ladies…” and Their Words of Wisdom

On each of the past 52 weekends, I’ve posted one short quote on Twitter. It’s been a sort of ritual I intend to continue. Sometimes abbreviated due to the 140 character limit, these little gems give me an inspirational boost.

I was struck (though not surprised) as I reviewed these words of wisdom today, that most of my favorites come from women. So in the words of the great Abigail Adams, let’s “remember the ladies”!


Abigail Adams, writing to John Adams in 1776:

”…in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.”


“Those that don’t got it, can’t show it. Those that got it, can’t hide it.” 
Zora Neale Hurston

“There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women.” 
Madeline Albright

“I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.” Virginia Woolf

 “Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.” Madeleine l’Engle 



And an honorable MEN-tion:

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Mark Twain


What It’s All About…

This is my daughter Abigail, with her 2-year-old son Gabriel and 6-week-old daughter Lucy. My grandchildren. Was ever a word so apt? Grandchildren. These two little tykes have taught me the most profound lesson in my life-to-date: they are the reason I’m here on this earth.

Cliche? Yes. Over-the-top sentiment? Absolutely. Never did I imagine these hackneyed terms would apply to me! I always thought it would be fun to watch my children if they became parents, however, this generational connection stirring in my soul has caught me by surprise:

  • I find myself whispering words of wisdom into their ears.
  • My inner child (it’s OK to groan here) behaves with utter abandon, yet…
  • My hard-fought-for skills of diplomacy and restraint seem effortless.
  • I have never felt better about forging my own trail on my own terms.
  • I am compelled to continue growing, to be my best self for them.

My twice-daily-ritual, morning and night, is to recall everything I am grateful for. Gabriel and Lucy have given me the gift of a generational lens, through which the love in my life has multiplied a thousandfold. I am so thankful.

And that’s what it’s all about. For me.

A Theatre Speaks


I often think that there should be a large sign on the office wall of every person who works in a theatre building: I CARE ABOUT YOU!  Who is the “You”, you may wonder?

You, the performer; you, the playwright; you, the stagehand; you, the theatre owner; you, the designer; you, the audience member…It is a mighty list!

And who is this sign from? The theatre you’re standing in.


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