Resilience: The Last of the Human Freedoms

The dandelion. A weed, everyone says, but it’s always been one of my favorite flowers. That lion’s mane of yellow petals. Ferocious. Shooting up anywhere. Everywhere. Between cracks in the sidewalk, among the rose beds, under front steps, in ditches along the roadside. Sprouting over lawns. I’ve yet to see a boundary the dandelion can’tContinue reading “Resilience: The Last of the Human Freedoms”

The Optimism of Cities

People say Seattle once had seven hills. One is now missing: Denny Hill. In 1897, city designers decided they’d had enough. And over the next 14 years, they shoved the whole thing into Elliott Bay. The project passed into history as the Denny Regrade. One hundred years after the first stage was completed, I climbedContinue reading “The Optimism of Cities”

The Limitations of Self

We are each limited by our perceptions of the world. We get only one perspective, one pair of eyes. And imagination, perhaps the only route to being in another’s shoes, is constrained by our own experience and knowledge base. The self is bounded by itself. This can, of course, be very damaging. “Self-absorbed,” as oneContinue reading “The Limitations of Self”

The Loneliness of Nonconformity

Edward Scissorhands (1990) is perhaps the quintessential fairy tale of the artist. In Edward’s quest for belonging, we can all find something of ourselves. Isolated and undeniably different, he is willing to give up his scissor-hands to be more like everyone else. He smiles with sweet, earnest boyishness at those who ask if he’d likeContinue reading “The Loneliness of Nonconformity”