The Two Things You Have to Stop Worrying About

By | February 18th, 2016|A Contemplative Life, Identity, On Writing|

  "You must once and for all give up being worried about success and failures. Don’t let that concern you. It’s your duty to go on working steadily day by day, quite quietly, to be prepared for mistakes, which are inevitable, and for failures."  Anton Chekov My friend Ed posted [...]

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A Letter to the Books in My House that Are Falling Apart

By | February 10th, 2016|On Writing, Poetry|

Photo by Joshua Earle via Unsplash You are my oldest friends, you with your ragged covers, your split spines, your brittle pages. I remember reading you in the secret round flashlight glow, undercover, when the crickets chirped. I remember sitting on the front porch, swatting away the flies, [...]

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When There Are No Small Things

By | January 10th, 2016|A Contemplative Life, On Writing|

Photo by Olia Gozha via Unsplash I walked into the early morning cold, locking the door of our rowhouse behind me. The city is empty on weekend mornings: quiet and still. A thin layer of frost glazed the sidewalks, already melting where the sunrise fell between the buildings. [...]

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On Turning 39 and Looking Up

By | December 21st, 2015|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, Identity, On Writing|

It's always a bit of an ordeal, getting all six of us arranged in the small pew (Leo stays in the nursery during the service). Sam needs to be beside an adult and not beside Cade. Cade wants to sit at the inside edge so he can see. Lucy usually [...]

Why We Need You to NOT Unfriend, Unfollow, or Block Those You Disagree With On Social Media

By | December 8th, 2015|Faith and Doubt, Identity, On Writing|

Photo by Martin Knize via Unsplash Recently someone in my Facebook timeline posted a particularly strong opinion regarding gun control, then went to bed. By the time he woke up the next morning, he discovered that two people he knew had traded arguments and insults in a thread [...]

What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?

By | November 19th, 2015|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, Identity, On Writing|

Photo by Davide Ragusa via Unsplash Then a Jesuit pal asked me, quite simply, What would you write if you weren't afraid? - Mark Karr, The Art of Memoir When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, [...]

Where To Go When the Voices Are Too Loud

By | November 17th, 2015|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, On Writing|

I know better than to enter the mountain ranges of Silence alone and unarmed, because I know they will be there, too, the Voices. Today I picked up a phrase, a walking stick to carry with me, God, what is it that I should do? It was light in my [...]