My Question for 2018

By | January 3rd, 2018|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt|

Photo by Roberto Tumini via Unsplash I'm entering 2018, not with a word, but with a question. * * * * * Leo is three years old. We walk into his room at bedtime. The city is cold outside his window, and the radiator at the foot of [...]

My Most Frequent Prayer These Days

By | December 6th, 2017|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, On Writing|

Photo by Matthew Henry via Unsplash *This is your regularly scheduled, completely honest post about the ups and downs of freelance writing and self-employment. If you have had your fill of these posts from me, feel free to move on, nothing to see here. Tomorrow, we will return [...]

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On Mutual Fear, and Veiled Women Telling Their Stories: The Iraq Journals, Part 2

By | May 3rd, 2017|Faith and Doubt, Travels Near and Far|

The road in Jordan. The drive from Amman, Jordan, north to the city of Mafraq (also in Jordan) is a journey from the (vaguely) familiar into the foreign. Amman, at first glance, is a modern city, but as you drive north, the streets begin to fade, turning gradually [...]

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Further Thoughts on Going to Iraq (or, God is not Here)

By | April 18th, 2017|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, Identity|

Poppy at her first Maundy Thursday service, her sisters washing her feet. We walked the six blocks to Saint James on Good Friday, the sun shining, a spring breeze chasing us along the sidewalks. I pushed the double-stroller – occupants varying in combination between Poppy, Leo, Sam, and [...]

Keeping My Eyes Open

By | March 16th, 2017|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, Identity, On Writing|

I'm not sure why I went with this photo, other than it's one of the few recent photos of all of us, from Mardi Gras, and I've been wanting to work it in anyway. Eight years ago, when Maile and I were at the bottom financially (or the [...]

Making Sense of Ash Wednesday and the Crosses on my Children’s Foreheads

By | March 10th, 2017|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt|

Photo by Laurie-Anne Robert via Unsplash It was a beautiful thing to do in the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of the week, at the beginning of Lent. We crowded into our church’s small chapel, the adults in chairs, the children sitting on the large, red [...]

What I Discovered in an Old Christmas Video From 2009

By | January 12th, 2017|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, Identity, On Writing|

Photo by Steve Halama via Unsplash Seven years ago, Maile and I had just gone through one of the most difficult holidays of our young lives. I had just turned 33. We had walked away from a failing business, left a community we loved, and moved into my [...]