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Friends Like These

Success, money, fame, and even romance feel laughably conceptualized when placed against the visceral reality of friends singing along the highway and filling the car with farts.

Family Portraits

In the evening we venture out into the city that she has called “the armpit of California” and find a place to procure some burritos. As we eat, Aunt Ellen tells me about her world travels.

Learning to Mourn

What I really want the smiling broadcasters to say is that there is no silver lining. This is not an opportunity or a warning call or a new beginning. It is an ending, and endings should be mourned.

A Grandmotherly Half-Truth

It frustrates me to hear people complain that they feel like they’re choosing between two evils or that they’ll just stay home on Election Day or that they’ll pack up and move to Canada if things don’t go their way.

Play

I think that we must search out new pastures for play—Scottish dancing, Settlers of Catan, scuba-diving. When we begin to lose springiness in one area, we must seek it in another.

Sportsthings

There is something gladiatorial about watching two players march onto the court before a roaring, royalty-studded crowd and knowing that only one will prevail

Loosening My Religion

As I opened my mouth, I realized I was about to put words to a trend I’d been observing in my faith life but that until this point had dozed cozily in my subconscious: “I don’t care as much as I used to, and I’m kind of fine with it.”

Naked and Deflated

What I do think I’m saying is that we all need time to wade into the scum of life, the crude wonder of being a breathing, embodied person. We need to strip down to just ourselves and swim out from there.

The Last Year of Youth

Deep down, I know that there’s no “getting it right.” The most tragic aspect of this segue from youth to adulthood is simply realizing you can’t choose everything.

A Gunnink’s Guide to Being the Best

We lazed like turtles on a sagging log, eating a mystery soup with our 3-in-1 backpacking cutlery, while Kara described her mother’s habit of reminding Kara and her siblings to “remember who you represent.” “She says that to us every time we leave the house. It’s kind...

The Man and The Monster

There is security in thinking that I don’t own a gun or make prejudicial proclamations to my friends or have a backwoods-y bowl-cut. If I can see a villain, I can know I’m not one.

The Great Tassel Shift

Immediately, I sprinted to the finish and found my athlete crumpled like a pop can, every iota of energy spent. I haven’t felt happy or proud like I did in that moment for years.

Boston on My Mind

Five miles. I’m finally loosening up and integrating the constant blare of spectators into my normal state of existence. I stay calm and don’t mind people passing me.

Montage

So rather than lament them, let’s lean into our montage moments; let’s learn to appreciate routine and apply ourselves faithfully to our daily goings out and comings in.

Planets or Penguins?

One may wonder what sort of daily tasks are deemed worthy by someone with so much practice spending days. For Alfie, the answer is knitting sweaters for tiny injured penguins.

Come Over and Sit

“Student death” is an e-mail subject line a teacher never wants to read. Yet, this past Friday morning I opened my internet browser to find these words neatly bolded atop my inbox.

Music to My Year

Growing up, I never developed my own music taste. There wasn’t any need for me to. The upper level of my house was consistently filled with my parents’ eclectic blend.

Snowbound

But the snow does not fall only on the ill-prepared. It falls on 4.0 students, kids flunking every class, and overwhelmed first-year teachers alike.

Good Enough

I simply cannot call something finished, whether I’m re-checking a final exam for the fifth time or strategically placing a seventieth sprinkle on a Seurat-inspired Christmas cookie.

On Curiosity

I’m realizing that curiosity, like goodness and faithfulness, is a virtue. Blessed are the curious, for they will inherit the wonders around them.

Triathalove

Dust off your old road bike, strap on some new tennis shoes, and buy some arm floaties if you need to! There is still plenty of time to prepare for your summer triathlon and secure the love of your life.

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