How Many Summers Left?

I do not love hot weather. I do not love intense humidity and stepping out into the outside world and feeling myself gasp. And, for better and for worse, I live in Washington D.C., where this is how it is in July and August. On the other hand, my grandmother turned 90 years old this [Read More...]

My Covenant with All That Is

I pledge to follow The earth’s gentle curve As I go; I pledge to breathe only air as I am able; I pledge to breathe often; I pledge to eat of the earth; Nothing other shall pass my lips. I pledge to wend along the ways, Trodding earth, never air, Clouds and sun above, What [Read More...]

Stand Your Ground

George Zimmerman was acquitted of murdering Trayvon Martin. Apparently he was allowed to “stand his ground” against a young man whom he deemed dangerous by virtue of the fact that the boy was African-American and wearing a hoodie. Trayvon, it seems, was not allowed to stand his ground against the man who was stalking him, [Read More...]

A Prayer for those Whose Hearts are on Fire

A prayer after the not guilty verdict of George Zimmerman Spirit of love and justice, Tonight I am angry. May my anger burn cleanly, Joining the light of so many hearts on fire. May we know anger as a source of strength, Anger that seeks to purify, Anger that has as its fuel the power [Read More...]

O Parenting: You Humble Me

Our Little Bean is starting to stand, ever-so-momentarily, on her own. Meanwhile, our lives careen on with her a central part of them: family trips and visits with friends, work and projects, housekeeping and grocery shopping. Occasionally I am blessed with the help of a babysitter or nanny. And as I introduce that person to [Read More...]

But Where’s the Woo-Woo?

“Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books; / Or surely you’ll grow double,” said the early-Nineteenth Century British poet William Wordsworth: “Books! ’tis a dull and endless strife.” He continues, Enough of Science and of Art; Close up those barren leaves; Come forth, and bring with you a heart That watches and receives. Ah, [Read More...]

Almost Heaven

I just got back from a week at a dance and music camp in the California redwoods. The music was outstanding, the dancing ecstatic, the people open-hearted and the trees majestic. It was, in short, almost heaven. (My version of heaven does not include meatloaf prepared by the staff of a YMCA camp, but you [Read More...]

Weeding Out Racism

I’m a gardener in the upper Midwest, so in July I spend a lot of time pulling up weeds. Just yesterday, along with a lot of other stuff, I probably pulled up a couple of hundred tiny maple trees, growing from the ‘helicopter blades’ that spin to the ground from my neighbor’s maple each spring. [Read More...]

Freedom . . . for Which?

I subscribe to the notion that separating out religion from other meaning-making systems is valid only for the sake of convenience. I agree with anthropologist Jonathan Z. Smith who says, Religion is solely the creation of the scholar’s study. It is created for the scholar’s analytic purposes by his imaginative acts of comparison and generalization. [Read More...]


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