Let Me Familiarize Myself With You

Let Me Familiarize Myself With You

“Let me familiarize myself with you. I’m not just talking about assorted facts anyone can get to compose an obituary. I want you to know the history of my heart, the tiny tragedies and comical acts of my everyday life.” I wrote these beginning lines of this blog after looking up the etymology of the word “familiar,” which comes from the same root word as family. We typically use the word familiar to mean a casual knowing, but when turned into a verb, familiarize, it becomes the act of getting to know someone, especially through repeated interaction over time. This means that you learn the good and the bad in a person and expose the same in yourself. We create the family feeling through regular interaction in which we familiarize ourselves with each other and we come to know, appreciate, and ideally love the quirks and idiosyncrasies, the beauty and dignity, and even the faults and flaws that make us uniquely ourselves.

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Engagement

Engagement

How do you consciously engage with life and the world? When, where, with what or with whom do you exercise exquisite attention? This blog is an excerpt from the introduction to "Engagement," a section of my new book of poetry, Bearing Witness. Bearing witness is a process for transforming experience into wisdom. For me, poetry is one expression of that process.

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Being Present

Being Present

Science is now pretty clear that we do not operate on the world directly, at least not consciously.  We live in a world of our own making by constructing the view we have of life, the world, and what is in it. Being present is a discipline, a practice, and it takes effort to learn how to maintain presence in the world. Here's a simple technique to be more present in life.

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