Fifty years, twenty five sober, my birthday is near, and here I am, all full of reflection. Continuing the theme of influential books, and these books are all about power… The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is like the Bible; I have internalized its principles, incorporating them into my breath. When I say “like the Bible,” I mean that I haven’t read the Big Book the way most Christians haven’t read the Bible: not often enough, not fully enough, and without as much mindfulness. The book is too historically specific and cumbersome to make it all the way through, so I cherry pick. Nonetheless, itRead More →

In honor of May Day and my approaching semicentennial, here’s a gem of a video, a portion of a documentary about the famous community organizer, Saul Alinsky. Talk about brilliance. This particular excerpt is simply prescient. Alinsky is best known for his book Rules for Radicals, a primer on community organizing. This book earned the right wing’s ire because Obama used it as his textbook for community organizing. Then they snapped to its brilliance and co-opted it, all the while trashing it for its socialist leanings. Indeed, the right’s non-stop Obama Bashing is a page right out of Alinsky’s book. Well played, my friends, wellRead More →

Christmas, 1967. The stuffed bear ever at my side is Loofy, short for Lucifer. Lucifer, a hand-me-down from my aunt, was a best beloved and devilish beast who stood up to hellish things in the night. If I recall the story correctly, Loofy was named after Lucifer brand matches. His name bears a pun, for Lucifer is the bear-er of light. Quite a Sells-family tradition, these thoughtfully punning names. The little love in my arms is my niece’s mom – my sister – the youngest of the three children in my family. From aunt to aunt, the story of my life.Read More →

Many years ago, as a child, I played in Chelsea Park, Manhattan, NYC. In those days, it was concrete with a little bit of green. Today, it’s green with a little bit of concrete. Somewhere in the middle, it was just sand, like a big cat litter box. I’m sure Chelsea Park could be a metaphor for life – from concrete jungle to cat dung to green space – but that is probably over-reading. My country and I have made it through Vietnam, the cold war, and into the next millennium. My country and I have have seen the World Trade Center fall and aRead More →