Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A customized democracy

Families used to spend time together listening to the radio

When I was 15 years old living in Cody, Wyoming, I distinctly remember my sister turning off the vacuum at 10:00 p.m. She wanted to hear the final radio broadcast of the day. If she missed those moments, she would have no other way to recover the news until the morning newspaper arrived. Today, such limited access to information would be unthinkable, inconceivable.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

You can't take it with you

Above all, relationships matter most

A few days ago I went jogging and stopped in front of my parents’ former home in Holladay, Utah. This was their residence long after I left home for college, so I have relatively few memories attached to that place compared to those I have of Tanner Manor, my childhood home in Southern California. My children, however, remember it as their grandparents’ home. It’s the last place we saw my father alive. So, I stopped in front of the house for a brief moment to feel a little sad about good times never to be recaptured.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The power of art

Winged Victory of Samothrace

The first time I saw her, she took my breath away. The second time, she made me cry.

The first time, I was only 22 years old and visiting Paris, France. I had never been surrounded by so much art--really fantastic art! How could I possibly take it all in? My sister, an art collector and history buff, tried as best she could to prepare me and her seven children for our first trip to the Louvre. Highlighting several famous pieces such as the Mona Lisa, she gave us all something specific to look for, but nothing she said prepared me for the moment I turned the corner and looked down the long, marble arcade to see Winged Victory of Samothrace. Perched high on a mass of stone, she was stunningly strong, remarkably powerful, and utterly undaunted. Instantly, without warning, something about the statue resonated in me. Whom did this statue represent? Where did it come from? And the most pressing question of all: Why had I never even seen a photo of her before? 

I was breathless, speechless.