A piece about my work just came out in Art & Inspiration, an online magazine published in France (the article appears in both English and French). The theme of this issue is crisis and creativity; I’m interviewed along with Carolyn Myss and three other writers. Tess Nurman, the very young, very smart editor and founder of Art and Inspiration, talked to me by Skype for an hour – about my personal life and books, especially “When You’re Falling, Dive,” then assembled a gallery of ancient photographs that took me WAY back … like seeing my life flash before my eyes. Art and Inspiration is published quarterly and is full of powerful pieces and terrific visuals. I’m happy to be in such good company.
I’m teaching a new online course called “Who Am I? A Spiritual Inquiry” starting June 17. This is going to be an eye-opening curriculum! The question “Who am I?” is the bottom line for memoir writers but also for spiritual seekers; both groups are fascinated by questions of identity, truth telling, authenticity, meaning, and inner experience. This course will be appeal to people who want to investigate the nature of the “I” (we all share) as distinguished from personality. I’ll be giving a series of writing exercises designed to prompt existential inquiry and help students peel back the layers of their many masks . We all wear so many masks in the world. Who would you be without your masks? Who are you REALLY? This is the inquiry that we’ll be working with. I’m really looking forward to it!
My new book, Ethical Wisdom For Friends, came out on June 4. I’ve been fascinated by friendship ever since I was young boy. When you don’t have a family that – uh – embraces you, a person can tend to look for those familial bonds outside the nuclear cave, especially in your friendships. This is what happened to me, anyway, and many of my best friends have been people who felt like orphans (or invisible, at least) in their home of origin. So I know that I am not alone!
I decided to do this book after Ethical Wisdom came out and readers wondered why I hadn’t been more prescriptive – more how-to or boots-on-the-ground practical about the information in Ethical Wisdom. They asked what they were supposed to DO with all of this research about ethics and morality; how to apply it? That’s when the light bulb went off about doing a series of EW books that apply to specific populations and situations. I could think of no richer or more complex place to start than in the realm of friendship. Next will be Ethical Wisdom for Lovers … which is more complicated still.
Ethical Wisdom for Friends asks a lot provocative questions. When is it OK to lie to a friend? What to do when friends are sexually attracted to each other? When do we interfere with our friends’ lives and when do we simply keep our mouths shut? What about gossip in friendship, or frenemies, or bromance? I explore these questions using real life stories (my own and those of people I interviewed), and the result is – I hope – juicy and fun to read.
I’d love to know what you think!