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...]

Storms and Solidarity

All day Thursday I wore my Standing on the Side of Love t-shirt, through meetings with academia, organizers, congregants, and staff. A day of solidarity, a day of grief and a day of joy. Solidarity with the Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, who stood on the side of love (without eating, drinking, using the bathroom, [Read More...]

Beautiful Wordlessness

I’ll try to keep this post short. Because that’s what I’ve been appreciating lately: few words. At almost 11 months old now, our Little Bean is right on the cusp of being able to say…something. And what I’m finding is that I’m savoring every moment of this Beautiful Wordless period. Because she can communicate just [Read More...]

Arguing Over the Light

All religions, all this singing, 
one song. Rumi
 1. A poet I met once, Leslie Scalapino, said “stay in continual conceptual rebellion.” She thought we must “re-form” our minds, “make it new, every day,” as Pound put it, or fall for the snake oil routines of all the drummers and askers around us. “No” to [Read More...]

What it Means

Today the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and declared that the proponents of California’s Prop 8 had no standing to argue against Judge Walker’s ruling that Prop 8 was unconstitutional. What these rulings mean in the real world seems pretty straightforward. Same-sex couples can finally resume getting married in California. Same-sex [Read More...]

They Walk Into the Place Where (a reflection on immigration)

They walk into the place carrying a bandana, carrying a balaclava, carrying a bordada made by abuela. They walk into the place that burns the soles of huaraches, the soles of tennis shoes into twisted rubber. They walk into the place carrying an extra tee shirt. An extra dress for a hija. They walk into [Read More...]

When Worlds Collide

I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day about a controversy in her church. A member raised the question to the congregation about what their policy should be about bringing guns to church. This was not a question that had ever crossed my friend’s mind in the course of many years of [Read More...]


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