Thanks for the Hope!

The evidence that people have hope for a more peaceful and compassionate world can pop up at some unexpected moments. Our local independent bookstore, Bank Square Books, is offering an unusual window display as we make our way through the holidays. Rather than using precious window display space to tempt the passerby to buy beautiful books, they have created a tableau of hundreds of small, yellow post-it notes – each describing something the contributor is grateful for. From across the street, it looks like a constellation of tiny square stars.  Up close, it is a delightful collage of how people pay attention to goodness surrounding us. At the end of this unsettling and frightful year, this window is a small oasis in the middle of downtown for the community to eavesdrop  on a collective sprinkling of grateful moments, each just a few words. David Schiller says in The Little Zen Companion that words can never be a substitute for experience. “Reading about fruit just isn’t the same as biting into a warm peach. But give the words time to work, and you might find – not the truth, but a glimpse.” Many people are struggling to survive tragedies, abuse, precarious life situations, and how to understand what actually is true. What action can we participate in that will keep our sense of communal hope alive when one tragedy is followed by another and another? After the mass shooting of children and teachers in Newtown, Connecticut, Deepak Chopra offered some suggestions for behaviors that can give hope to those who are suffering and feeling hopeless. He suggests that we should pause over […]

The Noah Bean to David Bowie Transformation

  In the world of show business, there are many fables about how actors and musicians succeed. My son, Noah Bean, who has been a professional actor for almost twenty years, says that it takes at least ten years to become an overnight success – and even then you may have to start over the morning after. Noah graduated from Boston University with a BFA in Acting and attended the Royal Shakespeare Academy along the way, as well as the London Academy of Music and Drama. In other words, he was prepared, but his continued success – while sometimes resembling a roller-coaster ride – has been the result of staying in the ring in spite of long layoffs and tough choices. His recent portrayal of David Bowie is a tribute to Noah’s grace and humanity, and his desire to be generous towards others in a world that is highly competitive and ruthless. His generosity towards me is huge. Without his help I would never have achieved the writing of my memoir about my first husband who was killed in Vietnam. He encouraged me, read draft after draft, and created and narrated the book trailer. There are great humans in this world, and I’m proud that my son is one of them. I look forward to watching his career unfold, over and over, with more and more overnight success stories.