Kick the Dog, Pet the Dog—Off-Loading Anxiety

There’s two things we can do with suffering: we can kick the dog; or we can pet the dog. That’s really as complicated as it gets. We can kick the dog; or we can pet the dog. Or the cat. Or the parakeet. Or our partners or kids or co-workers or fellow citizens. Because, as [Read More…]

On Outrage and Douchebags

Social media is great for so many things—staying in touch with distant friends and family, sharing the cute thing your kid or your cat just did, watching videos of people making delicious food at impossible speeds and much, much more. But what it is really superlative at is serving as a vehicle for expressions of [Read More…]

Advice to a Graduate

My daughter is about to graduate from high school in a few days, which leaves the terrifying prospect that she is now, more or less, an adult, and should know how to do the essential kinds of things that adults know how to do. I realize this is pretty much a fantasy, but still, I [Read More…]

Grace for the Rest of Us

Grace. Some say it before meals. Some have it for a name. Grace-ful people have grace in abundance. It’s also theological concept, and that’s where I run into trouble. When people learn that I’m not a theist, I’m sometimes told in a very knowing way that only theists have a theory of grace. The reason [Read More…]

Redemption

Late last night a member of my congregation was killed. She was someone who cared deeply about her spiritual life, who not only took classes through our church but also was moved to go through seminary. She was someone who believed, as Unitarian Universalists do, in growth, in possibility, in the urge toward the good, [Read More…]

Anne Lamott and the Pee-Pee Tweet

OK, honey, you know we love you, right? We love your novels and your essays and your memoirs and your wonderful Facebook posts. We love that you see your own imperfections, which look so much like ours, and that you are so clear that God treasures each of us in the presence of those imperfections, [Read More…]

Good Enough: 10 Tips for Sucking Less

Recently Christine Organ (a blogger for this UU Collective) published a lovely post on “good enough” parenting in this competitive age. Frankly, as someone who feels like “good enough” parenting is pretty much the top of my game, I appreciated the reminder that plenty of other folks are perfectly fine parents without living up to [Read More…]

A Summer Memory

for Maggie and Lewis   As the dimming fall welcomes me back, a summer memory feeds me still. We have risen with the sun, the smell of toaster waffles, and the demand that I read to you. Last night’s bedtime story put me to sleep too soon. So we clear legos from the couch, and [Read More…]

Eleanor Rigby’s Selfie

We learned from the Beatles that Eleanor Rigby “keeps her face in a jar by the door.” Clearly the Fab Four thought that was not a good thing to do. But what were they critiquing? Was it where Eleanor kept her face? Or that she had a “face to meet the faces that we meet” [Read More…]

Salvation Hits the Couch

Buddhism had been known in the United States since the mid-Nineteenth Century, but really came into its own with the return of Pacific War vets who had spent some time in Japan. (The creation of Red China insured that Chinese Buddhism would not be generally available to the Western World for some time.) One of [Read More…]