About Elizabeth Duffy

What You May Have Missed

  Good Letters: Learning Detachment in the AtticGood Letters: A Post About God and sexGood Letters: On leaving one's thirst unquenchedAleteia: The Mercy of letting one's yes mean yes, and no mean noGood Letters: What happened to Fun?Image: Jack Baumgartner and the School of the Transfer of Energy … [Read more...]

Less is More, and More and More of My Writing Around the Web

The Christmas Tree is sagging a bit. I know we're supposed to leave them up until the Epiphany, but "supposed to" is not a mandate. The joy of the season is no longer expressed by the decor in my living room. Now...after the explosion of paper and small pieces and battery packs, and stepped on replacement lights and parts, I am feeling as if less is more. It's been a mood taking over for several months, as you may have noticed fewer words on this page in particular.Going forward, I'm writing … [Read more...]

80’s Free Range Childhood Was Not the Same as 50’s Childhood

I've had a recurring thought lately, that I should be a school bus driver, because every day, I follow the school bus all around town, doing exactly what it does at the exact same time. School bus drivers I've known have all been good people, even "Bert" the grouchy bus driver of my youth with her giant mug-a-lug on the dash, and the little black rat-tail hanging from the back of her short haircut. All she ever really said was "Shut up," but there was always a weird sadness on the last day of … [Read more...]

Miracles Don’t Happen If You Never Ask For Them

Oh my Venus. The stars were bright last night. And I pushed myself beyond previously held convictions about how I'm capable of exerting myself, because the weather was very fine. We took a gluttonous number of free trees from the annual Community-Beautification-something-or-other event. Whatever it is, you bring the city your pollutants and they give you trees.Then we faced down the hard reality, that each tree requires you to dig a hole, to break up the dirt, to plant, to fill in, and to … [Read more...]

The Pleasure of Watching a Camel Pass Through the Eye of a Needle

Our dentist has the best magazines in his waiting room, which is nice since I'm there so often. There's Highlights and Boys' Life for the kids, and some nice garbagy fashion magazines for me. I don't know why I like them--because they smell good, and crinkle nicely under the fingers, or because they have exciting words like "Spring!" and "Floral Fantasy!" written on their covers in bold pink letters. Anyone who can resist such enticements in the deeps of winter is a better man than I.And th … [Read more...]

Disarming my Accuser, with the Sacrament of Confession

I prepared for my confession sort of inadvertently for about two hours. I was working out at the gym Saturday afternoon, and knew I'd swing by the church on my way home, so I spent the time on the treadmill thinking about the tale I was going to tell in the confessional, mainly because it was so interesting to me, to try and figure out why I'd had such dark thoughts all winter, all the different tributaries that poured into one profound and heavy torrent.Maybe I should have bought a SAD … [Read more...]

Forcing the Changes

Around my living room, one child is sitting very smugly sucking on a candy cane and reading 39 Clues, because he called his new friend this afternoon, "Just to talk" and ended up with an invitation to go play. He's happy. I'm happy for him, even though I wasn't excited about making any plans yet. He risked his trump card, and he won. I have respect for that.And my oldest son is on the phone with a toy company, trying to get a replacement for the RC helicopter he bought with his own money. … [Read more...]