In 1492…

In fourteen hundred ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue… So began the ditty that most of us (children in U.S. schools) learned about Christopher Columbus, who (we were taught) “discovered” America. I remember making little replicas of the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria out of walnut shells, play dough, and toothpicks. This was [Read More...]

Thoughts on Death and Lasagna

Last night, as I lay dozing on the couch, I awakened with a start at 10:30 and jumped up. It was time, I suddenly knew, to make a pan of lasagna for a family where a death was imminent. Right now. Not in the morning, as I had planned. Now. As I went into the [Read More...]

Endurance

“The manner in which one endures what must be endured is more important than the thing that must be endured.” Dean Acheson (attrib.)   We are accustomed to regard a person’s circumstances when we consider his or her level of suffering. Certainly certain conditions are more conducive to despair than others. Inmates in a concentration [Read More...]

That’s What Bearing Witness Is…

Let go of what you know and honor what exists Son, that’s what bearing witness is Daughter, that’s what bearing witness is ~ David Shannon Bazan, Bearing Witness Less than 15 miles away from the city of New Orleans as the crow flies – or 25 miles if you drive along the every curving Mississippi [Read More...]

Be Here Later, or Be There Now?

I finally cleaned the back yard the other day, a task I had spent several months avoiding. In fact, in about 90 minutes, I accomplished something that I had actively avoided for at least sixteen hours. I calculate those hours from the time I spent staring out the kitchen window, cursing the mess and myself [Read More...]

Yes. Thank you. I love you.

This week I attended the memorial service of a beloved soul light. First my professor, later my friend and colleague, he was a Jesuit priest whose very life was a prayer of compassion and grace. There is a Unitarian Universalist story about prayer that goes something like this: Dear Whomever, Please… Thank you. In many [Read More...]

Prejudice is Part of Human Nature

We human beings have many times many different prejudices. I’m not trying to make a value statement in saying that, just naming something that I believe is an inherent aspect of human nature. We are deeply prejudiced beings.  The primary difference I have seen among human beings was whether or not they were aware of [Read More...]

Responsibility

One of the major themes of this election cycle has been one of individualism vs. “collectivism.” The argument of those on the individualist side seems to be that people need to take responsibility for themselves. If we do too much to shelter people from the harsher realities of life, then, it seems, people will lose [Read More...]

A Grandson’s Rage

Politicians throw about plans for health care, Social Security, and Medicare as if they were stand-up comedians trying joke after joke to see what gets a rise out of their audience. To many of us, the effects of these plans are abstract and distant. We intellectually engage with them, thinking that our rational side is [Read More...]


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