Learning To Walk Again

April 22nd, 2011

Maggie took her first, tentative steps last week, slowly, deliberately and clumsily wobbling across the bedroom from her startled mother to her amazed father.

She waved like a homecoming queen to steady herself, then collapsed on her bottom.

Abbi and I were flabbergasted. Maggie was nonplussed. Still, it was a colossal milestone for all of us.

Henry David Thoreau wrote, "I seek to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future... is precisely the present moment." The passage rocked my world when I read it in college. ...

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When A Moment Changes Everything

March 6th, 2011

For weeks now, I've been listening to David Gray's "When A Moment Changes Everything" on near-repeat fully expecting to get hit by a bus, pushed in front of a subway, or catch a stray bullet at any instant.

It's a simple, hooky, perfectly David Gray kinda' song with a propellant beat, ascending melody, and the sort of broadly opaque lyrics that invite projection.

"The stolen glances broken threads," he sings. "The vision looming in our heads. The years spent running parallel to everything that might have been."

It's just uptempo ...

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How To Change The World

May 26th, 2010

If, as my former bandmate, once sang "World's change in the belly of an insect," then universes transform in a matter of years.

Little wonder, then, that I should comment to Abbi this weekend that I can't remember a period of transformation as radical as the last five years.

Five years ago, I was an Executive Producer. I lived on the Upper West Side. I played rock shows on the regular, smoked, drank, caroused, and regularly hailed cabs as dawn broke. Five years ago, I was single. Don't take my word for it, though; the archives ...

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Thirty Thousand Sunrises

April 15th, 2010

If a guy's really lucky, he sees some thirty thousand sunrises.

This fact dawned on me as I turned eastward on 86th Street the other morning. The sun burst bright-ornage through the pale-green leaves as I jogged across East End Drive and I thought, "These are finite. Enjoy 'em."

The average life expectancy for a 21st Century American is 78-years-old. Leap year nothwithstanding, that's 28, 470 sunrises. Now, I was born September 4, 1971, which means I've already lived 14, 125 of them. I have just 14, 345 left. (Put another way, my ...

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Into The East

April 4th, 2010

Abbi and I moved from West 56th Street and Tenth Avenue to East 71st and First this weekend. To most, this would seem a simple, two mile, two zip code, cross-town move. Which would be true. But man, what a difference two zip codes can make.

New York neighborhoods are rife with generalities, none more pronounced that the Upper West and East Sides. The Upper West is for cultural and artistic workers, the Upper East for more commercial and business types. Nothing is that simple, of course, still, it often bears out. The Upper West has ...

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Something To Say

March 29th, 2010

It wasn't until somewhere around Christopher Street that I realized that Thursday night's Rockwood Music Hall set was littered with references to breaking silence, speaking up and being heard.

From "Giving Up The Ghost" ("It's impossible to argue / It's impossible to scream") to "Live Forever" ("There's nothing left here to say"), "St. Anne (Of The Silence)" to "Dear Elizabeth" ("I still have something to say"), "Trying To Tell You" to "I'll Be Waiting" ("This is a message to you"), the set -- in this case drafted by my pal Chris Abad but ...

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It’s All Right

March 15th, 2010

Saturday morning's slate-gray, wind-whipped bluster was an angry, Joycean tempest fit solely for hours indoors with tea and sympathy.

Abbi and I braved the elements nonetheless, striking out through the icey, soggy streets to yoga at Exhale on Central Park South.

Arriving waterlogged was rich irony, as our instructor, Kirtan, and I had conspired to base the class around the return of the sun.

I've only been going to yoga for a few months, but my connection to the practice was immediate. Not only have I discovered muscles I never knew ...

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Heart Shining Forward

January 10th, 2010

These days, it doesn't take much to make me cry.

I'm not talking full-bore, crocodile tears, or the hyperventilated, cheek-puffing sobs of childhood. I'm talking about those moments when the beauty of life becomes so temporarily overwhelming, so impossibly moving, that you have to pause, recognize, and absorb. It's a good thing, a warm feeling, a sense of connectedness, gratitude and wonder.

The latest and most-profound of these moments began (as is increasingly the case) Saturday morning during yoga. The class was packed with ...

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The Miracle Of Showing Up, Part II

September 2nd, 2009

Yesterday afternoon, I raced uptown to a doctor's appointment on West 96th Street, tripping out of the cab some fifteen minutes late. It took me at least thirty seconds to realize the appointment was on 86th Street.

Just seventy-two hours shy of leaving Nantucket, then, I was plunged back into my nuance-free life: rush rush, blur blur, wake, sleep, wake. It's like being at sea for a month; terra firma is disorienting.

Worse, this waking life scarcely affords time for reflection or appreciation.

My office is a south-facing, Midtown ...

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A Life Less Ordinary

July 12th, 2009

I'm not sure whether my life is more moving, or that I'm more open to being moved. Either way, I choke up pretty easily these days.

A few weeks ago, for example, Abbi and I bought Ethan a grab bag of magic tricks for his sixth birthday. He and Edward sat transfixed, wide-eyed and amazed as I showed them each of the simple slights-of-hand. It was difficult enough to hold back tears of joy as I watched them each pull the new, black-felt top hat over their big, bright eyes, and more so as I walked home with Abbi.

"What could be more ...

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