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THE DEATH OF A PEOPLE’S DREAM: Two remarkable books, Black Elk Speaks and Born in Tibet

These are cautionary tales in that they suggest that we should “awake, awake, take heed,” as the Buddhist evening mantra goes, and confront the destruction before it swells to flood stage. Failing that, these stories are also an affirmation that all is never lost. There is gold to be woven from the dross of persecution; we’ve seen it over and over again. Look inward to find it.


I love the slyness, insider insinuations, hints, the elegance and sophistication of Barnes’s writing in The Noise of Time. He begins with a surreal scene in a train station going toward Moscow. We don’t know who is on the train platform; the character is “he” for twenty pages of panic, degradation, fear, memory, black humor,Continue reading “REVIEW: THE NOISE OF TIME, by Julian Barnes”

Some advice from an older generation

The protesters of my generation (we came of age in the 60s and early 70s) have two lessons for the powerful generation standing up for all of us these days: 1) by uniting around solid ideas, you can be effective, and 2) the forces against you are powerful, militant, and may overcome you. We marched,Continue reading “Some advice from an older generation”