I was aware that I haven’t been writing much in this space this year, but was shocked to see that my last post was dated January 11, 2016. I’ve been blogging over at pictureaconversation.com, the website dedicated to a product my husband and I launched this January — a set of 25 conversation prompts designed to inspire more talking and less texting. I’ve shifted from penning self-reveletory essays to writing about the experience of creating something from the wisp of an idea, getting one’s creation out into the marketplace, taking chances, and more. I am writing about the act and art of conversation, recounting notable conversations and the characters with whom I have them. I fear we are losing our facility for meaningful conversations, whether with others, ourselves or even God.
The one writing job I have preserved is my advice column for the Detroit Jewish News. I’m now in my third year as “Dear Debra” offering no-nonesense advice on everything from vaccines to tattoos to friends who want to text instead of talk. [I couldn’t be so self-serving as to advise they order a set of Picture a Conversation, but I was tempted!] I love puzzling out the advice I think would help my readers most and would love to do more. So I thought, why not post past columns here for your enjoyment and edification, and invite you to send your dilemmas my way via Read the Spirit? You don’t have to be Jewish to have tsuris (heartache); you just have to have a problem. Write to me at debralex1 at sbcglobal dot net and look for answers here each week.
The Jewish new year begins soon. It is a time of much soul searching, asking for forgiveness from those whom we’ve hurt or otherwise wronged. We commit to entering the new year having repented our missteps and wrongdoing. There are fervent prayers that God will hear and accept our repentance and grant us one more year to love, one more year to learn and strive, one more year to offer kindness, gratitude and help to those in need. Although I have shifted from one kind of written expression to another, I nevertheless pray for one more year to write, one more year to use my words for good and for healing whether spoken or written. Amen.