My Rocky Spiritual Journey

You don't have to be a big believer to find something interesting to read here . . . You'll find excerpts from the spiritual journeys of people I've met on the religion beat as well as reports of my own fraught encounters with religion and spirituality . . . as well as updates on my book, "Wrestling with God," to be published early 2015 by Patheos Press.

Judy Seidel: Click Here for an Eyeful of Her Life-Affirming Paintings

"Diptych," by Berkeley, CA, Painter, Judy Seidel is two jig-sawed pieces of wook painted abstractly with red, green and yellow shapes. Photo by BF Newhall

“Reconfigurations #4,” by Judy Seidel. Diptych, 27″ x 21,” each side. Mixed media on joined canvasses. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Some artists seem to be able transfer the way their minds — souls? — work onto paper or canvas. And of those artists, every once in a while, it’s a mind that you’d like to spend more time with. [Read more...]

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In Judge Harbin-Forte’s Courtroom — Where Jury Duty Is an Exercise in Mindfulness

A long line of people waiting to enter the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, Hayward Hall of Justice, 24405 Amador Street, Hayward, CA. Photo by BF Newhall

A long line of people, many of them prospective jurors, waited to enter the Superior Court of California building in Hayward at 9 a.m. on a Monday morning. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Tired of multitasking? Want to get away from Facebook, your cell phone, your boss, and that squeaky faucet that needs fixing? Get yourself called up for jury duty. [Read more...]

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At the Breast Cancer Center — Where Everyone Is Super Nice to You

Two pear-shaped floral skin markers with metal beads for marking nipples during mammogram. Photo by BF Newhall

Even the dime-sized stickers with metal beads used to mark the location of your nipples during a mammogram are upbeat at the Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

A smiling receptionist is there to greet you as you enter the lobby of the Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center in San Francisco’s East Bay. She directs you to the registration desk, where there’s no wait. A nice woman politely finishes up a conversation and is ready to help. [Read more...]

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Actor Robert Morse – Sweaty at 36, Sublime at 83

A scene from Mad Men TV series where Robert Morse playing Bert Cooper sings and dances surrounded by dancing secretaries for Don Draper.

Robert Morse: Song-and-dance man. AMC photo.

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

The last time I saw Robert Morse there were beads of sweat on his forehead. It was 1967 and he was working the crowd on the set of a local TV comedy show. [Read more...]

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Nature. We Love It — But Does It Give a Darn About Us?

NASA satellite image of Great Lakes covered with ice and clouds, March 8, 2014. NASA image.

NASA satellite image of the Great Lakes covered with ice and clouds, March 8, 2014.

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

In her new book, Writing Wild, Tina Welling quotes the popular mythologist Joseph Campbell: “The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.”

I like Joseph Campbell. But I’m not so sure about nature. [Read more...]

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