The Commune Blog

Small Is Beautiful

commusings Sep 27, 2020

I fell asleep last Thursday night, a copy of E. F. Schumacher’s Small Is Beautiful on my chest, only to be jostled out of reverie by what I perceived to be an earthquake. In retrospect, the jolt could have been the seismic gyrations of my sister-in-law, who was in throes of labor just a mile away. In the wee hours of Friday morning, Lewis Kofi Krasno entered the world, trading seats with...

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The Invisible Thief of Happiness

commusings Sep 20, 2020

“Come on, honey, not at the dinner table.”

Anyone with a teenager knows what this futile request refers to. And, candidly, I raise my hand, guilty as charged, for sneaking an under-the-table peak at my Instagram between helpings.

What did we used to do in the backseat on those long family drives? Sing songs? Play the alphabet game? Just be bored?

Now, we furnish our beloved progeny...

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You Split. I Choose.

commusings Sep 18, 2020

You are hosting a big party. Not right now obviously. But in the future. You must be extremely popular because heaps more people than expected are showing up. And now you’re out of 7-layer bean dip, only remnant crumbs of tortilla chips litter the bottoms of bowls, and someone is licking the thin paste of remaining ranch dip off the veggie platter. You can sense a fomenting...

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A Bridge to America's Future

commusings Aug 31, 2020

In 1898, Nathan Kiva, a nineteen-year old boy from Odessa, left his shtetl and embarked on the harrowing voyage across the Atlantic. Two months later, tempest-tost, his ship pulled into New York harbor, America’s golden door. Upon arriving at Ellis Island, he queued up and, finally, the immigration official asked for his surname.

“Kiva,” he replied.

The administrator wrinkled...

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From Straw to Steel

commusings Aug 22, 2020

I am facing the daunting task of setting up three daughters for successful distance learning. I keep reminding myself that there is no playbook for parenting during a pandemic. This helps assuage the guilt I feel for engaging in petty acts of bribery. We have resorted to cajoling our kids into engaging with Zoom lessons for interminable hours by adopting a range of lovable furry animals. This...

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The Other Epidemic

commusings Aug 16, 2020

 

We’re late for soccer. It’s always the elusive shin guards, hunkered away in some shadowy corner. I suppose I, too, might sequester at the prospect of the flailing cleats and errant kicks of 10-year old girls.

Lolli sanctifies punctuality, an odd proclivity for a girl her age. Any remote intimation of tardiness plugs the chatterbox, that normally lives inside her head, into a...

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A Bedtime Fairy Tale

commusings Aug 09, 2020

I am putting my daughter, Micah, to sleep and she asks me, “Daddy, if you could have one wish, what would it be?”

Considering tonight is my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, I am inclined to tell her that my wish would be for her to put herself to sleep, but that seems cruel, so I demur. If there is one parental pastime that I dread and will miss in profound and equal measure, it is...

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Town Hall

commusings Aug 02, 2020

This week, I am forsaking the typical format of this letter while I mine my childhood for more embarrassing personal anecdotes to share. Fear not, it’s my 25th wedding anniversary this Wednesday and I will more than compensate for any lack of mawkish prose in next week’s missive. That being said, you will not be completely spared my loquacity.

No doubt some of you may be wondering...

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Walking Among the Divine

commusings Jul 26, 2020

I am hiking the canyon loop, hunting ideas. I am edgy as I set off due to a constant ominous rustling in the brush along the path. Lizards darting, rabbits bounding, thrashers thrashing, rattlers slithering, imaginaries lurking. Nature welcomes home a long-lost cousin, wresting me from thought into the precarious present. 

This experience, man walking through the wood alone, senses...

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Navigating Post-Truth

commusings Jul 20, 2020

On November 22, 1963, Arthur and Adeline sink into their divan to digest their chicken salad sandwiches. Per their post-lunch ritual, they flip on their guilty pleasure, As the World Turns. Just minutes into the program, the soap opera is interrupted by a news flash concerning an incident in Dallas, Texas with the Presidential motorcade. The episode continues only to be suspended again just...

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