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Zen

6 Simple ways you can declutter and reenergize this summer

in Potpourri by

Summer is here and you’re rarin’ to go. You want to give the garage (and maybe the attic) a thorough cleaning. You’ve been promising yourself for years that it’ll get done and now’s the time. And yet, there you sit, totally unmotivated. Perhaps you still have some lingering cobwebs from the brutal winter. Or maybe you’re facing the all-too-common Catch-22: You can’t relax until you’ve cleaned up a bit but you can’t seem to find the time – or the necessary motivation – to get started. Well, there are ways to light a fire. Believe it or not, the whole process of decluttering can be very Zen-like, simply because you can tie together the mind and the living space. Clear everything…

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A conversation across the Pacific in Ruth Ozeki’s A TALE FOR THE TIME BEING

in Fiction by

I’m not going to be coy here: I loved Ruth Ozeki’s newest book, A Tale for the Time Being (Viking, 2013). Ozeki writes herself into a complex and rich novel by imagining many what ifs: What if I found a 16-year-old girl’s diary washed up on the beach in British Columbia? What if Nao wrote the diary in Japan, her parent’s country, only she is horrifically bullied because she doesn’t fit in after growing up in Silicon Valley? What if her diary seemed to be her last words as both she and her father contemplate committing suicide? What if “Ruth” couldn’t find any trace of her on the Internet or corroborate her actual existence, but felt compelled to try to…

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