By place

Monthly Archives: September 2013

Sabbath

In the space of just a few steps along this sidewalk, the whole of New York seemingly faded away, while this courtyard remained set apart, consecrated, holy.

Cooked

For I, dear reader, have a confession: I never learned to cook. Or bake, or grill, or fry. Like not ever. Like not at all.

Bringing Vince Carter to Church

This tension comes from the American obsession with performance. The public wants an aging athlete to keep playing, but only if they can still perform.

Work It, Don’t Twerk It

This month, I celebrated my one-year anniversary of post-education employment. By “celebrated” I mean I told the dentist that I’d been at my job for a year now and then he gave me some free floss.

How I Plan on Surviving Graduate School

A month into graduate school, I have decided that I need a pep-talk from myself. Hopefully, this is either amusing or helpful to others.

Holy Matrimony, Batman!

I’ve been to thirty-three weddings and counting.

I Must’ve Skipped a Step

I Must’ve Skipped a Step

by | Sep 23, 2013

Did I miss something when I grew up? Was there some native knowledge dancing on the polleny wind that somehow blew past me (because I was inside with a stack of library books)?

Questions, Answers, and Reasons

Questions, Answers, and Reasons

The importance of questions and reasons (beyond answers) was emphasized to me recently by reading two poetic works respectively about Thomas Becket and Thomas Cranmer.

A Lost Art?

A Lost Art?

So that’s why I want to write more letters. In fact, I think everyone should, at the very least so that Norton Anthologies will continue to publish authors’ handwritten correspondence well into the future.

Small Talk

Small Talk

small talk greatly ups the chance that I will be asked the following dreaded question: “Do you have any siblings?”—or one of the many variations this question can take.

A 30-Day Quest

A 30-Day Quest

So, now that it’s September and I’ve got my novel-planning materials out, I’m looking forward—in my patented, heady and mystical way—to the winnings I plan to claim this year.

Ode to Joy

Ode to Joy

But why is it always about the “joy” of homeownership? It’s true—when you buy a house you have to be prepared for the issues that come up.

Dynamic Equilibrium

Dynamic Equilibrium

Ecologists hold that patches of land, when stripped of vegetation by natural or human processes, recover by shifting through a fairly predictable series of plant and animal communities.

Riding in Buses with Strangers

Riding in Buses with Strangers

Fifteen minutes before you arrive, your Eastern European neighbor takes a pickle out of a paper bag and starts eating it. That’s strange, you think, but it looks good.

Mere Atheism

Mere Atheism

We must all humble ourselves when engaging with others in conversations surrounding belief of any sort, because in the grand scheme of things, we know nothing.

Where is God?

Where is God?

I wanted my career to be challenging. I wanted to do something that seemed to be helping the screwed up world we live in. But I’m having a hard time getting back into this mindset.

Neon Gray

Neon Gray

I don’t want to be so black and white that I miss the nuance of the Creator’s world, and of what he’s doing in it. But I’m not going to blend into the gray background of ambivalence.

To Put the Heart Into

To Put the Heart Into

He told me the etymology of the word “encourage.” “It comes from the old French, which comes from the Latin. It means, ‘to put the heart into,’” he said.

No Joint Locks

No Joint Locks

I want the action Bonhoeffer describes: “Not in the flight of ideas, but only in action is freedom. Make up your mind and come out into the tempest of the living.”

Tuning In

Tuning In

I’ve been struck lately by how difficult it is to communicate in the “communing” sense of that word—how miraculous it is when two or more people actually manage to share an idea, to get excited about the same thing, maybe only for a minute.

AIM Made Me Do It (Part Two)

AIM Made Me Do It (Part Two)

We all came out from behind our trees like were were ambushing the Redcoats and let our eggs fly. CRACK CRACKCRACK. Three out of five, not bad.

Croutons

Croutons

On our Cultural Differences handout, there was no missing the only sentence written in all capitals: NOTHING IS STABLE. YOU CANNOT PLAN.

Phishers of Men

Phishers of Men

Say what you will about jam bands and hippies—Phish fans have enthusiasm. More than the music, more than the thrill of seeing famous performers, I liked the concert for its energy.

Pretty as a Peach Pie

Pretty as a Peach Pie

I lingered over the sultry sweetness of that slice of pie…and then had peach pie and hot black coffee for breakfast three mornings in a row.

Tongue Ties

Tongue Ties

Between the cobblestones and the hills, nothing is level here in Perugia, Italy, and although I’ve wandered through almost all of the piazzas, vias, and alleys of the historical center, I still haven’t found a right angle.  Nothing is flat.  Nothing is straight. ...
Seussian Politics

Seussian Politics

I’m not calling for a retreat into idealism. That said, I do see the merits of altruism. So what if it isn’t practical or realistic or the way things work?

Making it Happen

Making it Happen

I had been camping once in my life, the summer after graduating from high school. I went with a few friends and contributed by helping hold the tent up after it fell down.