Crossing the border, avoiding the draft, living on the streets
Houses Of The Spirit
When I asked my six-year-old son, Dev, why he wanted to go to church for the first time that Sunday morning, he gave perhaps the only answer that could have nudged me into folding my newspaper and moving toward some faith I’d never bothered with before. He wanted to go, he said, “to see if God’s there.”
I woke up late. I suppose I needed the extra sleep, but it’s a bad way to start the day, like waking to the news that your country has done something wrong again (cut taxes for the rich; started another war), and it’s not exactly your fault — after all, you were sleeping — but it makes you ashamed nonetheless.
Religion. It’s given people hope in a world torn apart by religion.
The Mystic And The Warrior
Radical Priest Matthew Fox On Loving And Defending Our World
The mystic in us is the lover. The mystic says yes. But the prophet in us is the warrior, and the warrior says, “No, this is unjust. No, this is suffering that we can work to relieve.” That’s the rhythm of the mystic and the prophet, the lover and the warrior. It’s not enough to be one or the other.
The Whole Inexplicable Business
A Tribute To Steve Kowit
Steve Kowit was a gifted poet and a compassionate human being. He was enthusiastic and outspoken, both on and off the page. . . . Kowit once said that he wanted to “move the reader with memorable tales that celebrate the whole inexplicable business — this strange, unspeakably marvelous life,” and that is exactly what he did.
Our family’s involvement with the Church of the Living Word — aka “the Walk” — began with plain white cassettes. At first just a few lay scattered around Mom’s tape player, but they proliferated fast, covering shelves and filling drawers, even spilling from the car’s glove compartment when I opened it.
We all search for happiness, but we rarely succeed in locating it. It’s much better to sit completely still and let happiness search for you.
The Typewriter In The Basement
Once again a student asks me why I became a writer and this time I say: Because of the staggered, staccato music of my dad’s old typewriter in the basement. Because when he really got going, you could listen to it like a song. Because after a while you could tell if he was writing a book review or a letter just from the shift and drift and thrum of the thing. Because it sounded cheerful and businesslike and efficient and workmanlike and true.
Past The Breakers
Part of Charlotte’s mystique was her complete lack of fear. Even during rough-surf warnings and undertow advisories, she swam out past the green breakers, avoiding skates and jellyfish and rafts of seaweed. I’d see her head bobbing or her arms doing a demonstrative backstroke in the jade swells. She had learned to swim while growing up near Boston. “Wheatley isn’t afraid of anything,” my mother would say proudly. I never had the guts to go out that far.
We Would Never Sleep
We the people, we the one / times 320 million, I’m rounding up, there are really / too many grass blades to count, / wheat plants to tally, just see / the whole field swaying from here to that shy / blue mountain.
In the early seventies / Greg and I moved back to the land. / Here, no National Guard, no protests / on the steps of Bank of America, / no hash to smuggle into Isla Vista.