The Playground Atheist Looks Back

It may be that every elementary school, across the whole South, has at least one self-appointed Playground Atheist. You know the type: when all the other kids are showing off their new “WWJD” bracelets and mooning about how cool the youth pastor is, there’s a sharp-eyed fellow, standing there by the slide, not believing any [Read More...]

Let Us Take Care of Each Other

“I do believe we’re all connected. I do believe in positive energy. I do believe in the power of prayer. I do believe in putting good out into the world. And I believe in taking care of each other.” Harvey Fierstein   Early this week, my youngest son came down with strep throat. Like most [Read More...]

How Sisyphus Got It Right

I have participated in National Novel Writing Month three times now. I have never reached the goal of 50,000 words. Last year I came close, with 42,000. This year I’m not even close, having written only a bit over 10,000. The handy-dandy stats machine on the NaNoWriMo website tells me I’m averaging 760 words a [Read More...]

Anything I can do, We can do better…

“We think that honesty and living in truth are better ways to live than propaganda and denial and comforting stories.” –Tom Schade, “Religious Community is Not Enough: Unitarian Universalism’s purpose is much bigger than gathering with like-minded people for mutual support,” UU World Winter 2013. Earlier this year the Board members of the Center for [Read More...]

What — and who — is Remote?

“Remote” is different now. I spent the weekend driving from Washington D.C. to Blacksburg, Virginia, and back, with my family and a friend in the car. There were lots of beautiful trees, long stretches of uninterrupted, leaf-lined highway, and countless cows who appeared to be contentedly munching on hillsides of grass. At some point, we [Read More...]

A Confession

You’re wanting to know about the crucified squirrel. But first, here’s what happened to my Christmas lights. I lived in Iowa City, in a second-floor walk-up over Iowa Ave. Without any warning, November was here. Late fall in the Midwest is like if the planet Venus ends up shoved to the back of the fridge [Read More...]

Healing of Memories

At this time of year, we have many opportunities to join together with family and friends, to celebrate, to tell stories, to share memories. Because these holidays are most often colored in happy hues and we look forward to good food and fun-filled events with family and friends, it is easy to focus on happy [Read More...]

Morality: It’s About Hopping Out of That Tree

We all make a decision every day, consciously or unconsciously: Am I going to cooperate today? Perhaps the question is cooperation with a partner. Or the kids. Or a neighbor. Or the people at school or work. Are we going to “go along to get along,” as the old saying goes? How much of ourselves [Read More...]

Raking Leaves

People regularly say to me that they wouldn’t want to live in California, because they would miss the seasons. As a California native who has lived in a variety of other places, I understand this. Who would want to miss the seasons of Oh My God it is Really Snowing in April, or It’s So [Read More...]


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