Posts

Sheathing the Scissorhands

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In 1990, director Tim Burton released Edward Scissorhands, a fantasy film he co-wrote with Caroline  Thompson, adapted from a story he'd penned based on his own lonely and disconnected childhood. Filmed with Burton's marvelously whimsical touch, the story relates the life of Edward, a nearly-human creation of an inventor who has died before he can endow his creation with hands. The gentle Edward is left, instead, with sharp blades protruding from his wrists, dooming him to the hapless fate of destroying all that he touches, all that he loves. I'd watched the film at the time with a heartache that spilled into tears, and it came back to me as I read a recent article in the Los Angeles Times— Lithium in Electric Cars Takes Climate Change Toll —  about what mining companies are doing to address the dearth of minerals available for the batteries needed to power what most of us had assumed were our environmentally-friendly electric cars. It turns out that mining and extraction c

My Post-Traumatic Chicken Disorder

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One day this past January, chuffed about having received my first Moderna vaccine the previous morning, and undoubtedly a little woozier than I realized, I had a shocking encounter with a flock of chickens. (Cue Jaws / Land Shark theme music from Saturday Night Live , circa 1975.)  It was a sunny day, and I decided to take a walk in my peaceful neighborhood. I definitely had a spring in my step, feeling a little more protected from COVID-19. But as I rounded a corner, I saw that my neighbor's small flock of beloved chickens was loose in his front yard, having escaped their coop in the back, and they were pecking their way awfully close to the street. I called out to my neighbor, with no response, and like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky II , I ran over, waving my arms like a maniac, with the goal of herding them back through the gate to safety.  In my haste I failed to see the tip of a sprinkler head peeking up from the grass, but my clever toe managed to find it, sending me diving dow

To Our Human Family…With Love and Sorrow

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Just this morning it occurred to me that I’ve been so busy following the primaries and anxiously researching the coronavirus that I’ve barely spent a minute reflecting on the nearly 5,000 people worldwide who’ve already succumbed to that disease. Let alone their many beloveds who are grieving them. My heart goes out to them. Death is no less devastating when it’s from a collective catastrophe.  And how can we even unite in mourning them when medical confidentiality insists that they go unnamed? We do know that Mr. Zeng, from Wuhan, was the first confirmed casualty. We've read about three Maryland residents returning from a Nile cruise; a man in his 50s from Washington; unnamed humans from Florida, California, New Jersey, South Dakota. We pore over references to them as we seek to contain our fears, asking ourselves, “Were they close to my age? Did they suffer underlying conditions like, or unlike, my own?” It’s a kind of claustrophobic loop of news watching and social media

Chasing Eve! Connected at the Root and Down to the Bone

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Welcome to the sprawling streets of Los Angeles ,   where celebrity sightings are commonplace—at least in some communities on the Westside—and homeless encampments maintain a presence just about everywhere else. We may not be as compact as our tech-haven sister to the north or our great and gritty counterpart on that other "elite" coast, but we've grown in style and savvy over the years, so that—even in this treacherous era of climate change—our marvelous weather is no longer our sole enticement to curious visitors and eager transplants. As a native Angelena ,   I take great delight in the rich diversity of my community, where ninety-two languages other than English are spoken in our public schools; where grace and beauty beguile the senses, from the ancient treasures of Malibu's Getty Villa to the acoustically soaring Walt Disney Hall on Grand Avenue; and where you can dine on some of the best dim sum, pad thai, pho, tacos and burritos, thin crust pizza, a

Birth and Death...and Birth Again

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My brother Gene passed into the Great Mystery a few days ago. I feel like I've lost a limb. Dr. Eugene Frederick Karson was born on October 23rd, 1935.  A brilliant, athletic, consistently curious, and compassionate man, he was my idol, my inspiration, my colleague in the helping professions, a great fan of my fiction, and in our adult years my increasingly close friend. An accomplished and much loved internist to multitudes of SoCal families, a cherished husband and father and grandfather, a devoted uncle and cousin, he wore the mantle of responsible and reliable head of an eccentric and lively extended family with a natural grace, twinkly-eyed humor, and a wisdom born of his earlier recognition that—as he once put it to me—"life is very fair; it breaks everyone's heart." He should know. Gene was initiated into heartache at a traumatically early age when his mother Edna died when he was three years old—needlessly, as it happens, since penicillin had just
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A Reading and Book Signing:  The Butterfly Effect from an Imaginal Perspective ~ Quantum Physics, the Shadow, and Collective Transformation Please come and join me on Saturday, February 2nd, 2019 from 2:00 pm  to  4:00 pm at the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles for the launch celebration of Return of the Butterfly !   Presented by Sharon Heath, M.A., M.F.T.  Come celebrate with us the release of Jungian analyst Sharon Heath’s third novel of  The Fleur Trilogy ,  Return of the Butterfly !  How do you maintain your balance in a world turned upside down? Buffeted by dire winds of climate change, Nobel scientist and odd duck extraordinaire Fleur Robins rides rough waves of sexual betrayal and gender fluidity, bullying and loss, as she and her physics team speed up their efforts to ensure a viable future for the world’s children—including her own. Thanks to her fascination with the void; a vivid imagination; a loving, if eccentric, extended family; and a couple of dog

Return of the Butterfly: From Fleur, with Love

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Sometimes the best way to read a novel is to write one. Over a decade ago, something like that began happening to me. I'd already been working at the craft of fiction for many years when it occurred to me that it might be interesting to try writing a first person narrative. Interesting? Hah! At the very second I had that thought, a little girl sprang up inside me, bright as a button and odd as could be, prone to banging and pinching and whirling whenever she was frightened or overwhelmed. Propelled by her insatiable curiosity about the world around her, she began skipping away from me at great speed. Intrigued and already more than a little smitten, I kicked up my feet and struggled to keep up with her—a dynamic that has pretty much marked our relationship ever since. Over the course of two novels ( The History of My Body and Tizita ), she revealed to me the intricate philosophy she'd developed about the Void that was predicated on the habits of birds, weeds, wildly eccent