my 2013 book stack

The end of the year is, for many, a time to calculate, assess, and number. In that spirit, I give you just a few of the best books I read in 2013 in no particular order. Imagine, if you will, tiny thumbnails of the book covers beside each book title, because wouldn’t that be nice! The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida. An extraordinary memoir by a 13-year-old nonverbal boy with Autism. Did I already say “extraordinary?” This book gives us a look into a mind thought inaccessible. In it, Higashida answers questions such as “Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?” “Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?” “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” “What’s the reason you jump?” Naoki’s answer: “When I’m jumping, it’s as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.” This is one of my must-reads from the year. Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and Identity by Andrew Solomon. I watched his TED talk about love, and had the chance to hear him speak and speak with him at the first ever Autism Pride Week, held in Asheville, NC. First, he is a captivating orator. Second, he is brilliant. Third, he is a person who writes from a place of great depth, wit, erudition, and humanity. Fourth, and not least, he is a genuinely charming man, in the way that intellectuals can be and sometimes aren’t. This book is breathtaking in its breath and its depth. Not just for parents, it does offer parents a humbling look at what it means to love unconditionally a child who has...

your daily rock : quiet your mind

2013 is ending tonight at midnight. To honor what it was and to open space for what will be, sit quietly today for 10 minutes (or longer). Quiet your mind.  Rest those skittering thoughts and worries. Let them float across your field of vision and disappear like puffy clouds. They’ll likely come back into your field of vision again, and that’s okay. Clouds are beautiful. Love,     (These beautifully painted rocks are created by Kim Mailhot, aka The Rock...

your daily rock : let loose

We are often constrained, or feel that we are. What might happen if we let loose? If we danced on the beach or said WOW when we saw a bus? I've been listening and watching Pharrell Williams' 24-hour music video: 24 Hours of Happy. Have you seen it? Watch it for at least 10 minutes and let yourself loose. Love,     (These beautifully painted rocks are created by Kim Mailhot, aka The Rock...

your daily rock : embrace it

What we resist becomes stronger, bigger, more fierce. The waves crash more, the space taken up in our hearts and minds by what we are resisting gets more and more crowded and paralyzing. What we fight against becomes our Kryptonite. What if we stop fighting? What if looking for things to fight against is the pattern we need to break? What if we imagined everything we are resisting as necessary to our own capacity to move forward? Wouldn’t we then cherish it? What looms large in your heart and mind right now? What have you demonized and pushed against? Instead of fighting it, embrace it. Walk with it, hand in hand. Befriend it, and treat this thing that is fearful and hard as if it is your best teacher. Because it is. Listen to it, invite it to tea, sit with it. Love it. By embracing it as necessary, you are lessening its power. Love,     (These beautifully painted rocks are created by Kim Mailhot, aka The Rock...