In certain strains of Judaism, there's a profound passion for the ineffable. Contemplation of God is meant to be forever elusive, because, you know, our tiny minds can't possibly comprehend Him. If we find ourselves comprehending Him, then we can be sure we're off track.
It amazes me that parents are allowed to raise kids. There's so much power and often very little accountability.
It's lonely to listen to the pleasure of others, not that I've made a habit of that kind of eavesdropping. There's joy and passion in the next room, in the next bed, but it's not yours.
I work, and then I leave the office, and I'm with my kids and just sort of enjoy them on a visceral level, and I don't feel like I'm exorcising my own deep ideas about parenthood and about how my life will come into play in my work.
I'm attracted to how fraught the parent-child relationship is, swerving so easily between love and hostility, with almost no plausible way to end, unless someone dies.
I like big doses of grief when I read: Richard Yates, Flannery O'Connor, Kenzabaro Oe, Thomas Bernhard.
My goal, with whatever I'm working on, is to lose track of time.
I'm interested in the hope we invest in science, and the disappointment we can feel when science flattens, or 'explains,' the larger mysteries of religion.
The common, the quotidian, is so much more unyielding to me, really stubborn and hard to work with, and I like this because it makes me think and it makes me worry. I can't just plunge my hand into the meat of it. I need new approaches.
I work a lot in the summers. My family goes to Maine, where we have a little house. My wife's a writer, too, and we can write for six hours a day and then play with the kids.
Among other things, autoimmune disorders are an induction into a world of unstable information and no reliable expertise.
Fiction becomes a place where I face certain fears such as losing language or losing my children.
I love the way dates in a text make us think that truth will follow.
Judaism to me, as badly as I practiced it, what I've always loved about it was its total embrace of complexity, its admission of unknowability.
My parents showed me by example that they could balance their work and family lives.
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