Berkeley

Rethinking the F Word

Photo of an exhibit at the Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA.

Last month in Mexico, my friend, Pepe, who has four kids, lost his job when his gringo employers decided to abruptly leave Mexico. Closer to home, two of my nieces are working from home with toddlers who insist on acting as personal assistants. We all have stories like this, some tender, some tragic.

My own story changed on March 14 when I boarded one of the last flights out of Morocco a few days after my sisters told me, wisely and somewhat *emphatically*, to come home. If a global crisis hadn’t intervened, I would be in Portugal walking the Camino de Santiago after two months in Central Asia and the Middle East, before heading to who-knows-where.

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There Are Stars Above You — 10 Songs For Feeling Better Even if You Already Feel Good

Starry Night Over the Rhone, Vincent Van Gogh, 1888. Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France.

We can always count on music to enrich us and connect us to each other, no matter who we are or where we are from. Some songs are especially good at making us feel better, no matter how we are feeling.  Here are a few favorites from my very long list. They bring up different moods and they are all mixed up, so don’t expect any kind of emotional theme or evolution. And please share some of your own!

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The Sky With Diamonds

Lake Merritt, Oakland, California

I used to think the title of the Beatles’ song, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” meant Lucy was taking diamonds into the sky. But now I think it means Lucy is going into a sky that already has diamonds. I changed my mind about this after I realized why the air in my Bay Area home feels different. It has sparkles in it!  The natural beauty here is covered in a light that our proximity to the ocean makes glittery.

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