Recent Death

Recent Death

Anthony Bourdain’s recent suicide rocked a lot of people. I loved his show No Reservations. It was real. He was so real. Just him. Passionate. Not perfectly polished. As is. Likable in his humanity. Not posing. Him sharing his life and food with us. And, then. Whump!...
Spiritual Ice Water

Spiritual Ice Water

Rabbi Brian’s Diary (later edited and cleaned up)   What happened Moments ago, I was standing at the Pre-TSA security counter, drinking down the water portion of the ice-water in my insulated thermos.  The blue-shirted Anthony engaged me in conversation while I...
What seems like fate

What seems like fate

Non-Striving Judy (not her real name) meets with me for spiritual direction. She sat looking a bit defeated. As she spoke her arms and shoulders did an impression of Alfred E. Neuman’s signature shrug.  She was presenting a problem as old as history itself....
Mourning. Memories. Blessings.

Mourning. Memories. Blessings.

Mourning. Memories. Blessings. Aaron Panken was the rabbi at my home synagogue when I graduated from Tufts University. He jumped me through the hoops necessary to get into rabbinical school.  He died. Suddenly, in a plane crash. I am shaken, thrown off. Confused. When...
Authorized, or not?

Authorized, or not?

Clown-walking with fins After scuba diving for the first time around the age of 15, I became a bit of an aficionado. Consequently, when I was vacationing and saw a friend in snorkeling gear, walking, horribly awkwardly, towards the water with fins on, I called out,...
Acceptance: better get used to it.

Acceptance: better get used to it.

Michelle is driving me back to her house, where I left my car. We just had a lovely dinner. Conversation with her just flows; she is one of my no-filter-required friends. The 84-Freeway here in Portland is doing its impression of Los Angeles traffic. The right lane is...