The mayfly: patron bug of Carpe Diem

. “Don’t say that I will depart tomorrow— even today I am still arriving.” — Thich Nhat Hanh * Lila has a high-school teacher I’ve been a bit conflicted about. He teaches environmental science. There’s rarely any homework and the curriculum, a lot of times, seems to consist of going for walks in the woods.…

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Big Eclipse Day

The first wish-list I ever made for OBD, ten years ago, included this candidate item: “chase a solar eclipse.” I even wrote the date in the calendar: April 8, 2024. That’s today. Alas, two factors have conspired to dilute the dream. One, I’m in Vancouver, which is not in the so-called “path of totality.” And…

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Do you want to experience your life, or remember it?

[greg rakozy photo] Here’s a conundrum that has emerged for me: Big Days that are fun to do — or useful to do—are not always interesting to write about. Imagine you’ve been working your butt off day and night: a Big Sleep Day to follow? Righteous! But nobody wants to hear about it. Makes me…

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Anti-Big Day: Do Nothing At All

“The circle of an empty day is brutal and at night it tightens around your neck like a noose.” — Elena Ferrante * This morning, in a fit of spontaneity, the girls bugged out for a 24-hour getaway to Vancouver Island. Leaving me at home with all the ingredients for a Big Day of my…

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Big Trig Day

Sometimes it hits me: I’m kind of a bad parent. Not whipped-them-all-soundly-and-sent-them-to-bed bad, just … a bit lazy. Neglectful. Inattentive to the shifting emotional barometric pressure of youth. When the girls are quietly dealing with some issue, it’s almost always their mom who picks up on it and helps them past that pinch point, while…

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A day in your future life

(Photo: Patricia Prudente / Unsplash) Debbie Millman, a graphic artist and former head of AIGA, has an exercise she assigns her students at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She learned it from her mentor, Milton Glaser. It goes like this: Describe a day in your life 10 years from now. One whole…

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The all-nighter that changed global geopolitics

It’s an exaggeration to say Jeffrey Sachs sparked the end of Communism in Eastern Europe, ushering in the end of the Cold War, in a single day. But maybe not as much as you’d think. Sachs, a developmental economist, was reminiscing recently with an interviewer about how it all went down in summer of 1989.…

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Batkid lives on

(photo: Jeff Chiu, AP) The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a delivery system of epic Big Days to seriously ill kids. One day to live your dream: it’s a bittersweet gift, in the circumstances. But some recipients defy the odds, and live to savour the memory of a great adventure. That’s the case with Miles Scott, from…

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