education is the family business

My mom died on on my fourth day of classes in my new program at my new school. Died as I was stepping into this new adventure, maybe even new life, that she wanted for me… not necessarily as a theologian, but as an academic — someone who researches and explains things for a living. […]

standing in the surf

My mom died September 1st, 2022. She was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer not even two months before. On September 1st, I’d just moved to a new city. Just started a one-year graduate fellowship at a new school. I spent my first days of class quietly pausing by each new-to-me professor: “My mom has […]

proust says it’s the smell

In Remembrance of Things Past, Proust purportedly dissolves into long textual ecstasy — or is it deep nostalgia? — after smelling a particular kind of cookie. I’m doing that thing I hate, a loose citation that’s probably only folk-memory and is otherwise completely inaccurate. I suspect my alternative is to dive head-first into tracking it […]

sock feet

— by Kimbol, age 6 Have you ever been in sock feet, sock feet on the lawn?Have you ever been in sock feet, sock feet at dawn? Have you ever been in sock feet, sock feet in your room?Have you ever been in sock feet, sock feet at your doom? ** A swing, a sizable […]

sit here

During her (our) Troubles, I remember sitting at one end of our sofa and holding a book, or a sheet of paper with an assignment on it, and patting the open space beside me. I remember that space as on my left, my strong hand, the side my heart is on. I remember inviting A […]

not always a why

When I was very, very little — probably as soon as I was noticeably taking purposeful action like, say, crawling — my mom would tell me why she was doing what she did. She actually did this across the whole of her day as I was growing up, but she particularly told me why I […]


I’m far from the only one with this problem, and also it keeps cropping up for me — I wake in the morning (or pause) and make the mental move to orient myself in the day. And — unlike in other years or life-seasons or or or — my mind pulls in a day farther […]

going pro

I had the honor of preaching to a congregation this past weekend — the place where I was a pastor-intern, so it was a delightful homecoming made sweeter by being gathered, embodied. The last I was with them, you see, was in December 2020, before any of us had vaccines and thus well before we […]

peers collaborate

A while back (a long while back) I attended a speed version of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. The full form is thirty days; there is a week-long form that time has hallowed; there also is a four-day form, which might have been shaped as a concession to the late twentieth century, or perhaps […]