“Cinema Verité” speaks to me these days, as I struggle to find meaning amid loads of laundry, a demanding job, a checkbook that hasn’t been balanced for months, and a family that needs me. How much do my daily activities reflect who I really am? When I woke this morning already worried, tired, and a little cross, when I checked my email even before I had brushed my teeth, when I rushed my daughter out the door to school, did any of that say: “I am a person who loves Bach, who longs to meditate, who misses her mother, who laughs uproariously while reading Wallace Stevens? Who worries at night about orphanages in Romania? Who yearns to be a better mom, a better person, a better citizen? Who really believes that people are good?” How much we long for reciprocity between our outer and inner worlds, and how perfectly Gerber expresses this!

Better Fathers

Reading “Advice” makes me fantasize about the father I never had, the one who would have been capable of offering such lovely, succinct advice when I most needed it. All those years listening to Buddhist teachers, the best of whom expressed so much, so simply, as Gerber does here, were part of a quest to find this mythical father, the one who would have loved me enough not to blame me for my hurts, the one who would have told me that it was okay to step away.

—Mimi Kusch

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