A little about life and what I've been doing with it.
Matters of Kindness.
Nine unique stories that speak to ways acts of kindness can change lives.
Kindness comes in many forms.
You could give someone a kidney
or just say hello. It all counts.
There's a lot of my life captured
between these pages. Some of it's funny,some a little off beat. I hope
you find moments that warm and
comfort you, and occasionally
something that gives you a laugh
or makes you smile.
1. Going to the Dogs. This is an excerpt from my novel Raising the Bar. The setting is rural Australia in the 1930s. It may have been long ago, but I feel I know these places and people so well. I know the temperature that day, how much rain they didn’t have and what tomorrow will look like. This was a time when nature was cruel, life was uncluttered, and friendship meant everything.
2. The Man at the Counter. This is a true story. At the time I didn’t realize how it would shape the way I think, feel and live. It happened quite some time ago in Australia.
3. Life on the Edge. Life is tenuous and temporary. We all understand it, or at least we think we do. But true appreciation for that fact is heightened when the things we’ve been taught come face to face with reality. We sometimes discover that being present, personally visiting life on the edge, can teach us things we hadn’t expected. There can be a real richness to life at both ends of the journey.
4. Better Left Unsaid. This short story is set in the 1950s in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. It was a time and place where, if you wanted meat you went to a butcher. If you wanted bread you went to a baker. Fruit and vegetables were found at your local green grocer. The local corner store was a place where you could pick up most of your groceries along with the essentials that held life together, like conversation, friendship, and a sense of community.
5. My Last Night. A change of pace and a lighter look at life. Imagine it’s just you and your dog against the night. What goes through your mind in the borderless land between wakefulness and sleep? Why do you go to places you don’t want to go and how do you get out of there? It can happen to all of us and this is one time the night took hold of me.
6. Pooja’s Gift. A fiction inspired by a wonderful woman with whom I had the privilege of spending a few hours. Her spirit, her courage, and her generosity remain an inspiration.
7. The Big Night Out. Sometimes there is so much fact in fiction I don’t know which is which. I decided to call this fiction because all the names and places have all been changed. Some things are moved in time and space to glue the pieces together but everything that led up to this night happened pretty much like I tell it. And that’s a fact.
8. An Inconvenient Child. Life takes balance. It isn’t all joy. It isn’t all grief. But there are measures of each that shape the days and weeks. It’s how we balance them with intelligence, care, and kindness that keep life in check. Sometimes, sadly, kindness denied can create chaos. Kindness is such an easy gift to give that it should never happen. But it does.
9. Sur La Plage. For a big finish, I thought we’d take a stroll on the beach together. I wrote this in St. Martin. If it feels like a stream of consciousness at times, there’s a very good reason for that. This belongs more in the memory than kindness bin. But there is kindness along the way. I also think you can bestow kindness upon yourself simply by getting away to places where you can relish the incidental moments that elevate life. This revolves around a few days beachside in the French Antilles. My wife said I should bare my soul (among other things) and share it.