Seeking Balance In Culture, Nature

Hi, I’m Len, and I’m a recovering dieter.

After becoming a zombie with dizziness, brain fog, memory loss, unsteadiness, and what felt like dementia, friends asked if I was OK. I wasn’t.

Ketosis may work for some but may not be the best thing for the Medicare set, certainly not for me. It’s no quick fix for weight loss.

To regain my physical balance and mental clarity took awhile. It took fruit, fruit of the vine, and what I always do when flatlined, nature and cultural immersion.

And what a place North Texas is for that!

La Boheme, Jaap Van Zweden again at the Meyerson, Hamilton at Fair Park, wildflowers en route to the Kimbell Art Museum kicked off my steady diet of food for my senses.

As my body has changed shape in the last half-century so has Dallas and environs.

At the Kimbell, I was intrigued by a small exhibit of architectural paintings of Dresden, which was the seat of the once powerful court of Saxony in the mid-1700s. This was the Paris of the Holy Roman Empire attracting architects, painters, sculptors, and scholars.

Why this exhibit now? All I could conjure up about Dresden was dolls and Meissen china. Of course, I dimly remembered it was pulverized at the end of World War II by allied bombing in an attempt to get Hitler to capitulate. As Dresden continues, even now, to try to rebuild some of its magnificent former baroque buildings and cathedral, it looks to these paintings for its source.

Pause for reflection: hate begets war, which begets destruction of beauty as well as governments, always a timely message.

Wishing to elevate my spirits, I finished my spring immersion at, what else, the Dallas Arboretum.

Truly spring has never been lovelier, so with inspiration, I tackled my own muddled yard. It takes weeding, pruning, soil preparation, planting, and transplanting, then feeding, guarding against blight – a lot of work, continuous work.

That is what it also took for Dallas to become an urbane, cultured city with great commerce with a distinctive Texan flair.

Could it go the way of Dresden? Could our society? Could radicalism lead to a political Keto diet that leads to dire results?

We have to weed out our pests, nurture our seedlings, nourish our minds, and avoid extremes to bloom.

Spring is a lovely reminder that it’s all about balance.

Len Bourland can be reached at

Len Bourland

The views expressed by columnist Len Bourland are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of People Newspapers. Email Len at

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