• lenten journal: seasons

    by  • March 11, 2016 • 0 Comments


    Maybe it’s not exactly the right word, but I was well into my thoughts for tonight when I realized I had already used weather; seasons will have to do. We have had a couple of early spring days here on the Shoreline, and it set me to thinking of songs about wind and rain...

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    lenten journal: promise

    by  • March 10, 2016 • 1 Comment


    I come, in conclusion, to the difference between “projecting” the future and making a promise. The “projecting” of “futurologists” uses the future as the safest possible context for whatever is desired; it binds one only to selfish interest. But making a promise binds one to someone else’s future. (Wendell Berry, Standing by Words, 62)...

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    lenten journal: soundtrack

    by  • March 9, 2016 • 2 Comments


    When I was in elementary school and the first part of junior high, we lived in Lusaka, Zambia. One of my clearest memories is of our Sunday after-church ritual: we would come home and have lunch, and then Dad would wash the dishes and Miller and I would dry them. While we worked, we...

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    lenten journal: disease

    by  • March 8, 2016 • 3 Comments


    Towards the end of the day at work it fell my lot to help a woman whose phone was not working as it should. The repair was fairly straight forward and under warranty. That was not the story. Somewhere along the way, she had decided things were not going to go well. By the...

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    lenten journal: sentence

    by  • March 7, 2016 • 3 Comments


    I picked up a new traveling companion for this Lenten journey: Wendell Berry’s Standing by Words: Essays. The title essay begins, Two epidemic illnesses of our time—upon both of which virtual industries of cures have been founded—are the disintegration of communities and the disintegration of persons. (14) I added his word to my growing...

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    lenten journal: borrowed

    by  • March 6, 2016 • 2 Comments


    Tonight, as I went on a relatively futile search for words of my own to share, I found some words by others I am going to borrow tonight. These are not easy poems because they name grief quite well, and in that have offered me comfort. All three of them were new to me....

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    lenten journal: altar

    by  • March 5, 2016 • 5 Comments


    The Madeleine L’Engle book that has been one of my Lenten companions is called A Stone for a Pillow, and centers around the story of Jacob. As a result, the idea of an altar has been on my mind, which has led me to repeated listening to one of my favorite songs by my...

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    lenten journal: courage

    by  • March 4, 2016 • 7 Comments


    I woke up to a surprise snowfall this morning, and nowhere I had to be immediately, so I sat down for my morning coffee and continuing conversation with Madeleine L’Engle and Marilynne Robinson. Even though their two books were written two decades apart and, as far as I know, independent of one another, I...

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    lenten journal: conjunction

    by  • March 3, 2016 • 0 Comments


    Today has been a difficult day. I struggled to find words. I might do better to say these words found me. lost and found everything rides on the conjunction— and, not or. I am both. lost in grief, and found by friends; full of joy, and broken hearted. grief house rock— what’s my function?...

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    lenten journal: structure

    by  • March 2, 2016 • 5 Comments


    Today would have been my parents’ sixtieth wedding anniversary, so this morning I went looking for Wendell Berry’s poem “The Country of Marriage” to set the tone for my day, landing on these words in particular: Our bond is no little economy based on the exchange of my love and work for yours, so...

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