Billy Collins Reads His Poem ‘After the Funeral’

“Look straight ahead / What’s there?” said Zen monk Bassui Tokusho moments before passing away. “If you see it as it is / you will never err.” This tender Japanese death poem would leave many of us utterly befuddled and awe-struck by its logic-shattering beauty and asking one simple question, “And then what?” Well, after … Read more

Seneca on a Key Trait of a Good Friend

Seneca on a Key Trait of a Good Friend

“One friend in a lifetime is much; two are many; three are hardly possible,” Henry Brooks Adams famously wrote. For the lucky few, it’s an axiom of life; for the unlucky many, it’s nothing more than a theorem to be proven. So how should we choose friends to swing the fortune in our favor? Is … Read more

7 Best Books on Grief and Grieving (According to

7 Best Books on Grief and Grieving

“Loss can wound and paralyze,” David Kessler wrote in his meditation on death and the art of living. “But finding meaning in loss empowers us to find a path forward.” If you’ve lived long enough, you’ve encountered loss in one way or another — it could’ve been one of your parents, your spouse, or your … Read more

Three Essentials of Effective Writing

What is good writing? Elements of Style, hailed by many as one of the most important books on writing ever published, tries to answer this question. But does it succeed? I believe that the answer will vary depending on your stand in the most heated debate among wordsmiths – whether brevity and succinctness are the … Read more