Let’s celebrate play, together!

A while back I grabbed the website domain playful.li and launched a little project I called Playful, on the media platform Medium. I invited folks to play along, and some folks (most notably, my friend Bill Clinton) did. Within a year, though, I ran out of creative and physical energy for the project and it …

Read more

2 Very Different Parent-Daughter Movies

We went to two movies this weekend. Surprisingly, we saw two movies about parents and children. Other than that, they were wildly different. (Spoiler alert: I’m about to say things about both Everywhere Everything All at Once and Aftersun. If you care, stop. Now!) Everything Everywhere All at Once is an Oscar contender, starring Michelle …

Read more

6 Things I Learned from Wordle

Like a lot of people, I played Wordle a lot this past year (see below). It’s ingenious, both simple and complex in the way that can remain intriguing over time. Six guesses to come up with a five-letter word sounds simultaneously super-difficult and pretty easy. Six seems like a lot, until you’re looking at S-A-E on …

Read more

Some ‘Mountain-Climbing’ Advice from Writer George Saunders

Listened to George Saunders’ first collection of short stories, Civilwarland in Bad Decline, this summer and all the things I enjoy about Saunders’ writing were there. But the real treat was his writer’s note at the end, where he shared his experience as a not-so-young writer who pursued writing while living a middle class existence with …

Read more

Meeting My Father-in-Law, Who Died in 1974

I was going through a photo album from 1968 made up of photos mostly taken by my father-in-law, and it was as if I was meeting him for the first time. Which, in some ways, I was. Charles Christopher Kirk died in 1974, when I was 9, Virginia was 12, and we were almost 15 …

Read more

On Being Bill Clinton

A Piece of American Trivia As I browsed in a Hallmark store one day in the mid-nineteen-eighties, I found a card listing famous people who have the same birthday as me. I was startled when I saw my own name. My father had told me years before about the youngest governor in the nation who …

Read more

Why Legacy Looks Forward, Not Back

My friend David Jack is one of the most inspiring people I know. He is a fitness professional whose work is deeply tied to his commitment to seeing people thrive spiritually and physically. He is huge—6–4 and lots of muscle—yet completely approachable. Kids love him. Adults love him. Katie Couric LOVES him. Most of all, Dave is curious—about …

Read more

My Not-So-Wild Wild Life

My minister asked us this morning to think about how we experienced nature early in our lives. Here goes. I grew up in suburban New Jersey and, as a kid, my wild place was behind our house. We lived in the first house into our neighborhood, a busy road on one side of our home, …

Read more

Mouse Mind

We’ve had a mouse problem. It started with a text from Virginia on my Monday morning walk that said “Mouse! Come home!” I came home, seemingly trapped it in a bathroom and went to get some mouse traps. By the time I returned, it was gone. But we set our traps and the next morning, …

Read more

The Lure of Sunflowers

I’ve never been much of a flower person. I’ve let Virginia do the work of encouraging things to grow and be beautiful, and I water, yank up weeds and prune when things get unruly. But last year, I decided to try my hand at it. I dug out a garden in our backyard and planted …

Read more