As a mother of a teenager, I do actually listen to her music, and I’ve noticed it’s pretty much the same old American story: the good times are on their way. Be a little more daring, and the guy will come your way; work harder and happiness will rain down; vote for Trump, and the country will be great again.

AKA: that theme I remember from high school history of Manifest Destiny, sailing in.

Could anything be less Zen? What is it with this linear thinking, the view that happiness is a plateau that might be scaled, somewhere off across a desert?

Sip your soda, girl; be here now. I might as well throw that advice back at myself: enjoy parenting the teenager, unique as this may be.

It’s only when caterpillarness is done that one becomes a butterfly. That again is part of this paradox. You cannot rip away caterpillarness. The whole trip occurs in an unfolding process of which we have no control.

– Ram Dass


West Woodbury, Vermont

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