à la carte archives

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This category contains 6 posts

A Camino Pilgrim Visits Costco

When I went to Costco many years ago, with my sister-in-law, I couldn’t wait to evacuate. The harsh lighting and din bothered me. The mountains of merchandise and the super sized containers turned me off. As someone who appreciates thoughtfully designed displays in specialty shops, ideally uncrowded ones, I found nothing visually pleasing, enticing or artisanal about the experience. Costco seemed designed for … Continue reading

Spiritual Practice at Trader Joe’s

Whether you love, hate or are indifferent to Trader Joe’s, its model is distinct. According to TJ’s website, the business cuts costs by “putting innovative, hard-to-find, great-tasting foods in the Trader Joe’s name.” Although I purchase the bulk of my groceries elsewhere, I pop into their Boulder, CO store occasionally. I’ve discovered that their house … Continue reading

Leave No Trace: Cleaning as Spiritual Practice

When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself. – Shunryu Suzuki Visitors to wilderness areas heed a principle called “leave no trace”. Conscientious hikers carry out used toilet paper, feminine products, food scraps, wrappers and anything else that does not belong. In certain remote places … Continue reading

Behold the Karmic Vacuum

These days, I pay careful attention to who and what shows up in, or disappears from, my life and if the arrivals, departures or synchronicities carry meanings.   While I’ve always been attuned to symbols,  it wasn’t until I started writing creative non-fiction to identify themes in my à la carte life that I began … Continue reading

Spring Rituals and Lessons for Writing (and vice versa)

While buying a box of matzah a few days ago, I remembered that one of the purposes of this unleavened product is to instruct the eater to be humble and not let the ego run the show…at least for the eight days of Passover, if not longer.  Good writing also demands we put our egos … Continue reading

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