Excerpt from Tao of Thoreau

I was going through my book looking for good passages that I will use in a philosophy unit in one of my classes. This passage stood out to me:


We should be blessed if we lived in the present always, and took advantage of every accident that befell us, like the grass which confesses the influence of the slightest dew that falls on it; and did not spend our time in atoning for the neglect of past opportunities.

We loiter in winter while it is already spring.


Earlier, Thoreau warned not to try to turn spring into summer; here he warns not to obsess on the past. Lao Tzu said:

Why was it that the ancients prized this Tao so much? Because it could be got by seeking for it, and the guilty could use it to escape the stain of guilt. This is the reason that all under heaven consider it a valuable thing.

Learn from mistakes and missed opportunities and apply this learning going forward.  Practice forgiving yourself, especially if you have accepted the lessons from your mistakes.

If you are interested in buying my book, click this link.


Five-hundred books!

I have to say, this brings me a lot of pride and joy. I’ve said before that it was a tough decision for me to self-publish. Not just because it felt like a defeat to not get accepted by a publisher, but more importantly I realized that I would have to promote the book myself.

I guess I’m doing a pretty good job!

I was thinking today about the rejection letters that I received when I submitted Tao of Thoreau for publication. Two of them were real disappointments because they expressed interest at first: I really thought the dream would come true. Due to those near successes, I held on to the idea of being published, until I finally made the decision to give it a go.

Now, I’m thinking of each of those books as an acceptance letter. And that’s a good feeling!

I think I’ve turned a mental corner about my writing. I feel more like an accomplished author every day, and the wannabee dreamer is being put behind.

A Dream Come True

A dream came true for me yesterday! I was interviewed by Victoria Onofrei for the radio show “Victoria in Verse”.  

If you know me, you know the opportunity to talk about MYSELF FOR AN HOUR was exciting. I read four poems, told a story, and talked at length about family, teaching, writing, and playing Ultimate Frisbee. Basically, I got to talk about every part of my life that I care about and invest time into.  

Victoria was a wonderful interviewer! The Zoom format was so familiar and comfortable, it was honestly like talking to a good friend. She kept the interview moving by asking a variety of questions. I feel like it is going to make great listening.  

The planned broadcast date is this coming Sunday, March 12th. Of course, I will share the link for those of you that are interested in listening.  

Woven Forest

I’m always trying to capture the way snowy branches look woven together. This picture does a decent job of capturing this.

I love the way snow turns the winter forest into a black and white landscape. This beauty is so wonderfully contrasting to the colorful loveliness of spring, summer and fall. Snow takes away the starkness of winter, giving brightness to the otherwise dulled colors.

Also, Anna is a cutie pie.

The Death of Snow Days?

I began this poem in December of 2020:

Covid year took away so much 

It even took away nothing. 

Gave “No School” the virus 

Changed snow days to work days.

This is all I wrote the first time that a snow day was replaced by a remote teaching day. At the time, I thought snow days were over for good. Since then, Connecticut has ruled that remote learning cannot replace snow days. 

I wasn’t feeling bad for myself, really. I got to sleep in, I was home, didn’t have to make two 45-minute commutes. And though I didn’t have the day off, I also knew we wouldn’t have to make up any days at the end of the school year. I can delay my gratification. 

I really felt bad for the kids. Snow days are the most exciting things when you are little. A day off from school, a chance to go outside and play in the snow. (And yes, a lot of kids still like to be outside.) To do … whatever. Or nothing. A taste of freedom. 

In those strange, upside-down pandemic days, I thought this would be taken away forever. As I sit here on a snow day, flakes falling outside, (working on grades because most teachers take advantage of any time that you can correct without new work coming in) I am happy. Throughout Connecticut, kids are building snowmen, hurling snowballs, running and shrieking and giggling. And that’s what I would have missed the most if snow days were gone for good.