Posts in Rites of Passage

Jeff Shushan’s Intrepid Guidance

After a number of meetings with Jeff Shushan, a seasoned advisor on relationships in stress, Molly, myself and Jeff had agreed to prepare for a profoundly important milestone: we were going to undergo a trial separation. It was November of 2013. The suggestion of a trial had been mine, based on how companies undertake a big bet. Why put all your efforts into one place, when you can undergo a pilot, learn from it and course correct? If Apple or P&G does this for ad campaigns, why not pursue the… Read More

Chuttumbee #1 Turns 15

My Dearest Pablo, 15 years ago yesterday the earth trembled as God sent one of his emissaries down to Earth. That would be you. Happy B’Day. The time has hurtled by and each year as we come upon your B’Day I am always deeply moved by how much, in one mere year, you change and your situation changes. Overall I get the sense high school has been a good thing for you, and that people (for example from the XC and robotics teams) enjoy and look forward to your presence… Read More

A Pale Retelling of a Deeply Rich, Vibrant Life

I gave one of the eulogies at my dad’s funeral on Saturday, Jan 14, 2017. The event brought together aunts, uncles & cousins from both sides of the family, and long time friends. In preparation, I followed the advice of my wise friend Pat – – call up siblings, and ask “What’s one of two things that come to mind right now?” What an eye opening exercise that was! I would say this is a useful task to undertake well before a person passes away. You get a nuanced sense… Read More

Chuttumbee #2 Turns 12

Today, Sidd the kid turned an enthusiastic 12.  What a terrific treat. For him, life is an expanding universe. The question ‘How was your day?’ is consistently answered by "Oh it was great!" followed by a rambling recount of the day’s events and why they were better than expected. He sees opportunity all around him… our place is littered with PostIt notes of lists, and these bring a quiet chuckle from him about how he is knocking off item after item.  Sporting His Summertime Haircut © 2015, Abe Pachikara (Click… Read More

Bob Hall Pre-Empts Disaster

Here’s a story common to so many people: a personality in one’s life actively provides useful advice bringing success, or at least steers one away from a career debacle… Part One: Trig Class "Have you heard from Illinois?" It was Bob Hall’s raspy whisper during his own senior level trigonometry class. "I haven’t applied yet." "Really???" His eyebrows ruffled as they always did when he sensed trouble. "Leave now, go see Arnott, I think the deadline is real soon." "Arnott" was Pete Arnott, the school guidance counselor, excluding “guidance” and… Read More

Blessed with Another Circumnavigation of the Calendar

It is my transcendent luck to see another birthday.  The same sublime drum beat carries on: so many treasures, so much time, and  talents afforded to me.  (I do need to use them more aggressively, no doubt.) A couple of observations from my last b-day: From Instructor, Shifting to Mentor:  I did notice pretty vividly that I am shifting in my relationship with Paul and Sidd, from telling them lots of things, to spurring their thoughts on how to proceed. Then, they do more and more of what they think… Read More

Chuttumbee #1 turns 13

Dear Paul, It was just yesterday that you were a bounding, chubby, little boy with an oversized laugh.  Endlessly curious.  A true lover of all things round.  Tires.  Wheels. Turntables.  Lug nut holes. Pots.  And an avid fan of trains. A Newly Minted Teenager © 2015, Abe Pachikara (Click for larger image) Fast forward to your 13th bday.  The toddler’s shape has morphed into much more of a young man, for sure.  An up and coming young man whom I am so deeply proud of, full of love for, and… Read More

Happy Holidays 2014 ! !

2014 has been a year our family will never forget, and I do hope you had a very big year too. A Bigger Year Than Meets the Eye, © 2014, Abe Pachikara (Click for larger images)  As per the usual, Sidd, Paul, Molly and I wish you the best in this Holiday time. We pray this note finds you safe, sound, healthy and happy. If life has gone sideways, our prayers are with you. Our family has had its share of adventures. The boys are in a good place.  Still… Read More

Chuttumbee #2 Turns 11

Okay this is a VERY belated post and perhaps it is indicative of how time is so precious at the “start” and the “end” yet risks being commoditized in the middle by albeit pesky, urgent, trivial distractions. Sidd @ 11 in his new fangled glasses, © 2014, Abe Pachikara (Click for larger images) Sidd, my precious 2nd son, turned 11.  A couple of things to share are as follows: He still has a deep enjoyment in sports – he continues to dislike watching from the sidelines or frankly in a… Read More

Another Year Whizzes By at About Warp 4

Many adults no longer have a natural metronome to mark time skipping by.  For example, no formal undergrad, grad or vocational school programs, no children still in grade school.  Nothing to keep check of the passage of time.  In those cases, milestones like our own birthdays play a vital role.  Each “tick, tock” registers 365 days of living. Dad and the Young Lads, © 2014, Abe Pachikara (Click for larger images) Without birthdays, decades could sneak by without us taking note, or worse, allow us to play along with the… Read More