Nomination for Most Necessary Picture: Twelve Years a Slave

I wish I could talk to my Great-Aunt Marie about the movie Twelve Years a Slave, but regrettably “Neenie” died when I was three. This spinster librarian from Detroit did, however, leave a legacy—a self-published book of family history. Written in 1957, this book documented my family’s years in Missouri in the 1800’s. My parents [Read More...]

It’s Carnival Time!

Al “Carnival Time” Johnson sings “it’s Carnival Time and everybody’s havin’ fun…” The twitter feed, the facebook, the news cycle all make it very clear that not everyone is having fun… but this weekend (until Ash Wednesday), I will put my twitter feed down, my facebook and the news away, and  I will spend time [Read More...]

A Softer Focus

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” – Kurt Vonnegut In college, we had this mantra [Read More...]

Remember? #NeverLovedUs

“By not finding Dunn guilty of murder, the jury could not unanimously conclude that one white man’s imagination was worth more than one black teen’s life.” -Aura Bogado, Jordan Davis: What We’ve Come to Expect, http://colorlines.com/archives/2014/02/what_weve_come_to_expect.html   “Colorlines publisher and executive director of Race Forward, Rinku Sen, was a guest on the Melissa Harris-Perry show [Read More...]

Valentine’s Day

I could be wrong, but I rather suspect that Valentine’s Day is the most widely despised holiday in the country. Really, unless you’re in the small minority of people who are in the throes of romantic passion, what’s to like? You don’t get a day off of work, there’s no religious ceremony or significance, and [Read More...]

Brave Love

I have fallen a bit behind. I had high hopes this year of completing the Thirty Days of Love activity calendar with my kids, filling our journal with words, our minds with thoughts, and our hearts with love. But, alas, we have fallen behind. Our ambitious expectations have been thwarted by dinner preparations and laundry [Read More...]

Flying Over the Squares (for small farmers)

The little towns in their squares light up, as do the scattered lights of farmyards in the tilting, fuzzy squares they’re locked in.   I balance a Chilian red on a bumpy flight out to one of those squares.   The West is red too, after we bump to a cruising altitude through clouds threatening [Read More...]

Epiphany (Continues)

[More king cakes than you can imagine and only two weeks into Epiphany, I am still tugging on the promise of this season, even as I find myself tugging on clothes that seem strangely tighter...] Kathleen Norris notes the irony that King Herod “appears in the Christian liturgical year when the gospel is read on [Read More...]

A Gift, A Letter, and a Drowning Man: The Legacy of “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

There’s an old Zen story that does like this:   Once there was a great warrior. He had never been defeated, and he continued to win every confrontation into old age. He was known far and wide as the only warrior who had never suffered a defeat. This of course was a challenge to younger [Read More...]

Saving the music, Saving our souls

Much talk is made of gentrification, but I want to take a moment and lift up the shadow side of all the cool new coffee houses and increased property taxes – dispossession. New Orleanians who managed to return post-flood are finding themselves pushed out of the city by the incredible post-2005 rent & tax increases [Read More...]


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