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Emotions: My Connection To Stage And Life

Learning to become a more authentic actor requires opening up more fully to the full range of my emotional being. It’s perhaps safer when playing a character on the stage, but it’s still not easy. The reward is that I am at the same time learning to connect more fully with everyone around me in my real life. I’ll never be finished with this exploration as long as I’m alive, but it is an extraordinary and exciting journey for sure.

Pinter and Protest

Harold Pinter was considered to be one of the most influential of modern British dramatists with a career spanning more than 50 years as a playwright, screenwriter, director and actor. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005. He wrote plays that emphasized that unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. Coming to understand what this means for me personally has been a long journey.

The Sins of the Fathers

The assertion that the mistakes and inadequacies of parents cause significant problems and issues for their children and grandchildren can be found virtually throughout recorded western history. It was an important theme in Greek drama, was referenced numerous times in both the ancient Hebrew Bible books and in the New Testament, and has been the inspiration for countless books and (more recently) movies. What is often overlooked is the real meaning of “visit” in Euripides’ quote. It does not mean that the mistakes and misdeeds of the children are all the fault of the parents but rather that those children will be challenged to deal with the consequences of those inadequacies in a better way than their parents did. In this post, I explore some facets of my own journey in dealing with the challenges of being an adoptee.

This Is My Story

The companion book to the historical fiction novel “Before We Were Yours” was was a non-fiction work. Entitled “Before and After”, it tells the personal stories of twelve adoptees interspersed with Judy’s journal describing her journey to a reunion in Memphis, Tennessee. In this post I want to add my story. Like all the others in the book, it has many common elements – yet each one is unique and describes a path to a successful life despite the trauma of its beginnings.

Arrogance, The Destroyer of the Good

Lisa Wingate has created a masterful book of historical fiction about the Tennessee Children’s Home Society and the crimes perpetrated by the principle characters. In this post, I explore the disturbing way in which media treated these principle characters as dedicated angels until the disclosure of their criminal activities – and then, virtually overnight, as the very devil incarnate thereafter. The uncomfortable truth is probably somewhere in that gray area in between – they were neither purely good before nor entirely evil thereafter.

Balancing Understanding and Judgment

It can be really curious how watching YouTube “recommended for you” choices sometimes provoke a long chain of reflections and important insights into your life. I discovered a lot about the cost of my tendency to rush to judgment without understanding by watching a video clip from the movie Amadeus.

A Dear Friend I Never Met

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The recent announcement of the death of Vin Scully, the play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team for 67 years, had an emotional impact that surprised me by its intensity. It was like the sudden loss of a dear friend that left me deeply mourning with a large empty place in my soul. I want to share with you some of my life’s memories that involved him, including some that I haven’t thought about for many, many years.

Thoughts While Walking

As I walked past the church and cemetery in our village, I started thinking about how curious a lifetime is when viewed at a distance. There are the dates of your first and last breath, but these “bookend” dates really have nothing to do with defining a good or a wasted life. What really matters is what each person did during the years in between. Did they make it about money and fame? Or did they make it about love, relationship and caring for others?

Remembering Thích Nhất Hạhn

Thích Nhất Hạhn, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, peace activist, prolific author, poet, teacher, and founder of the Plum Village, died three weeks ago at the age of 95. He was known as the “father of mindfulness” and is often considered to be one of the main inspirations for engaged Buddhism. He was always referred to simply as “Thay” (“teacher” in Vietnamese). Thay had a profound influence on my life. I want to share a bit of that story in memory of and as a tribute to a remarkable man.

In Love With The 64 Squares

The chess world championship match that just concluded in Dubai reminded me of a time when I was in my twenties and of another championship match that had a major influence in my life and helped me to understand some important things about myself.

Be Here Now

I was sitting at the window today, watching the snow falling in my backyard. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself because the Covid pandemic has put on hold so many of the activities I love to be involved in. For some reason I started thinking about my university days at UCLA. It was a great school and one of its many positive points was its proximity to the Santa Monica beaches and some of the best surfing in the continental United States. It was there that I learned an important life lesson.

My Hospital Adventure

It has been nearly three months since my last blog entry. When I published “Fishing With My Father”, I had no idea that that would be virtually the last productive thing I would do before disaster struck in the form of a twisted bowel segment that would land me in surgery and the hospital for eleven days. This is a bit of that story and what I learned from it.