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Arlene Goldbard's Blog

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Oct.09.2013
I’m on my way home from New York. At Bowery Poetry, I gave my first Culture of Possibility workshop, aimed at actualizing the ideas in my new books. As so often happens, everyone resonated with my critique of Datastan, the realm in which human being in all their delightful...
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Sep.24.2013
I’m going through one of those bumpy passages on the journey to belonging. I moved a couple of months ago, and while the reason was love and I feel the opposite of regret, the adjustment to a new community is pushing some ancient buttons. As with many children of immigrants, I know what it’s...
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Sep.16.2013
It happens so often, doesn’t it? Something burrows its way to the surface of your awareness in the little world of face-to-face, and then you see the same dynamic writing itself across the globe. For instance, I spent Yom Kippur in services with dear friends, grateful for the opportunity to...
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Sep.10.2013
"The day will come when you will trust you more than you do now, and you will trust me more than you do now. We can trust each other. I do believe, I really believe…that we can all become better than we are. I know we can. But the price is enormous and people are not yet willing to pay it." James...
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Aug.23.2013
Silence, as every meditator knows, confers the opportunity to notice what matters most. This past week, I’ve been noticing our ideas about age and thinking about an important event approaching fast: On November 3, The Shalom Center (where I have the honor of serving as president) will honor...
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Aug.15.2013
This silly little story keeps popping into my head. It must have been at the height of the Sixties—1968, maybe. My aunt was reminiscing about the past. Reaching for a story to impress me with the sacrifices of the Great Depression, she said that she’d walked to work all week to save carfare so...
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Jul.02.2013
You know the “Stockholm Syndrome,” right? It’s when hostages empathize with their captors, a form of what psychologists call “traumatic bonding.” Welcome to the Stockholm Syndrome State. The culture of politics is in a coma, the result of an overdose of deference to authority dissolved in a...
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Jun.27.2013
When we have rights, it’s easy to take them for granted. It’s when they are contested that they matter most. Today, I write about two very different examples provided by the U.S. Supreme Court and the movement for Scottish independence. There have been many times in my adulthood that I...
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Jun.10.2013
I first got wind of it in Linda Essig’s post on Facebook (Linda, who writes the blog “Creative Infrastructure,” was also kind enough to post a “love letter” to The Culture of Possibility last week). Then I got a note from my friend David Francis in Edinburgh, a wonderful...
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Jun.04.2013
It’s interesting to have opportunities to give advice to young artists. Each time, I learn something about myself, something about the way I may appear in others’ eyes—and something about the gap between them too. I suppose the easiest way to explain that gap is that to those several decades...
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May.31.2013
My sweetheart loves to fly fish. He never keeps the fish, just tenderly tips them back into the sea. So he’s plugged into various fishing networks, some devoted to survival of species that are imperiled by human impact. He’s the one who turned me onto Twyla Roscovich’s quite remarkable film,...
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May.27.2013
In New York for my book launch, I did some of the things I usually do: walked the streets endlessly on my way from one meeting to another, connected with old friends, wondered what exactly it says about “civilization” that we are increasingly expected to get along without public restrooms…. I...
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May.26.2013
Last night, almost done reading one of my two new books, The Culture of Possibility: Art, Artists & The Future, my partner said this: “You’re a feather-ruffler, aren’t you?” Well, sure. Speaking truth to—and about—power has been one of my lifelong habits. It’s too late to stop now...
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May.12.2013
Dear Readers: I’d love to see you at my upcoming book launches in New York at 6 pm on Thursday, 23 May and Berkeley at 2 pm on Sunday, 2 June.     What comes to mind when I write that someone has used words as blunt instruments? Insults or arguments maybe, the kind of...
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May.02.2013
Where have I been, people keep asking. Right here, it turns out, giving birth to two books I’ve been incubating for many months. If you’re on my e-list, you received a notice yesterday that my two new books, The Culture of Possibility: Art, Artists & The Future and The...
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