faith
Like So Much Weather
On October 29, 2019 | 0 Comments

These moments are immortal, and most transitory of all;… Beams of their power stream into the ordered world and dissolve it again and again.   Martin Buber, I and Thou   On the morning of Everett and Olivia’s wedding, I had to pull Everett’s box out from under my bed. I have a box for each of […]

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Fist Full of Sparrows
On November 14, 2018 | 3 Comments

  Our backyard maples are skeletal now. It happened in that sudden way that means I haven’t been paying attention. I know they flushed to gold about two weeks ago. Emma called me to the window, and we stared at them together for a minute. They can seem incandescent in those early yellow days, like […]

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Opening Like Hands
On April 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

From the Willow Room in the Prince Conference Center at Calvin College, one can see willow trees. They stand at some distance from the building, at least one hundred yards away, and during the lecture on self-editing a manuscript, I watched these trees. They were huge. Their branches were many. And all of these branches–those […]

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Contingencies
On November 28, 2017 | 2 Comments

Lately I am thinking of contingency. Standing in her office, my editor reminded me that writing is a job just as ditch-digging is. The ditch must be dug. Must not also the writing be written? She is right, of course. The ditch-digger goes to work and digs her ditch; so must the writer go to […]

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Such a Thing as Always
On August 12, 2017 | 2 Comments

And because it was so beautiful, it set me longing, always longing. Somewhere there must be more of it. C.S. Lewis, Til We Have Faces Before our son’s wedding in July, I had never been to the Pacific Northwest, never seen British Columbia, never been in Seattle. Well, okay, I had been in the Seattle airport. […]

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It’s Okay to Ask
On February 23, 2017 | 3 Comments

Time spent teaching is never lost. I spent an hour in a 9th grade classroom yesterday. The first time in nearly five years. This was at a public school, Durham School of the Arts downtown. The place where my daughter now spends her days, where my middle son used to spend his. And we’ve lived […]

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What Every Writer Wants
On January 23, 2017 | 0 Comments

Silence, maybe. Space to write. A quiet column of time in which to give audience to all that’s in one’s head. That might be what a writer wants. But that’s not always true. Having made room for these things precisely, a writer can find that they are absolutely not what she wants. She can find […]

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New for a New Year
On January 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

Putting a book together is interesting and exhilarating. It is sufficiently difficult and complex that it engages all your intelligence. It is life at its most free.  I started in earnest on a new book today. It wasn’t one I’ve been meaning to write. For some time now, the list of what I’ve been meaning […]

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No Boat
On January 16, 2017 | 0 Comments

Above the sofa in my living room is a painting that once belonged to my grandfather. A picture of the sea: everywhere water. Peaks and troughs fill more than two-thirds of the frame, all done in deep greenish blues with paler blues for foam and spray. Whitecaps curl and spread on a crest far off […]

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Fourteen Seconds
On December 1, 2016 | 1 Comments

I was in the mall on a recent Friday morning, a quick stop between the post office and the gym, because sometimes my life is like this. Except for the mall part. (I actually hate going to the mall, due to its uncanny propensity to awaken desires for things I don’t have and didn’t even […]

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