I love stamps.

A stamp on an envelope is pretty good, but sheets of them, with the image repeated across the page, that’s divine. And I’ve got envelopes full, dating back more than 30 years. My kids give me a hard time about it. Relationships have faltered over the expense and my insistence that they aren’t always meant to be used (I always buy a sheet to use, a sheet to keep. Believe me, this practice adds up after awhile and can be the source of household friction, as if I needed more!).


Personally, I think the US cranks out some of the best stamps in the world. This notion continually gives me hope, though small and rather eccentric, for the future. Just the mere fact that the Post Office has over the years sanctioned what I consider to be quite modernist art, given the slightly Warhol-esque nature of the look, inspires great faith in my country. For, no matter what particular outrage we might inflict on the world at large, how we’ve lost our industrial groove, or the many ways that Congress might appear ridiculous at times, history will show that we at least got our stamps right.


I mean, come on, Johnny Cash AND Ray Charles on stamps. That’s pretty swinging.


Love Calling


Eryka Badu and I

She boarded the plane, threw her bag down in the window seat next to mine. Row 5.
I asked, ‘You interested in switching seats? I’d love the window.”
She looked at me over her glasses and said, “Baby, I wrote a song about getting the window seat. It’s the way I roll.”
I said, “Well I wrote a song about falling off a horse, so, big deal. What about switching seats?”
“OK, well, I’m Darden.”
“You a musician?”
“Yes,” she laughed. “You?”
“So, do you put out records and stuff?”

“Really? That’s great. You play live?”
‘Yes, 8 months out of the year.” She pulled out her phone. “Here’s a copy of one of my albums.”
I looked.
And damn near fell out of my seat.
“Oh shit, You’re Eryka Badu. Hi. I’m an idiot.”

We talked for three hours straight, DFW to Salt Lake. What a sweetheart.

Hiding In Plain Sight

It is actually pretty easy to be amazed.

In fact, the less effort I make, the more amazed I am. I don’t have to do anything, go anywhere, spend any money. It’s not about having the right plane ticket to the destination of my dreams (which I hope I never find). More often than not, it’s about seeing what is in front of me, what is right before my eyes, what has been there all along.

A conversation with my kids, the sound of a guitar, good wine, how the still water in a deserted pool looks right before I jump in — this is where beauty lies, waiting for me. All I have to do is slow down, see it.

I was lost in the middle of my weekend day, on the phone, rushing about, adding things to the list, checking things off the list, when I happened to notice this moth on the outside stairs of my place. It just sat there. So regal, so pure. The height of beauty.

And if I hadn’t noticed the moth? I know it would have still been sitting there, looking the same, not caring about me one way or the other. It’s my job to see the moth, not its job to be seen.

The best parts of my day are often hiding in plain sight.