When We Don’t Want Others To Belong

  I’m looking for spaces that are a homecoming. I’m realizing it’s not easy to find places of true belonging and it’s even harder to be a person who offers it. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t want to belong, but I know many who want to disconnect, to distance, to separate and […]

My Improbable Love of “Happy Birthday”

I should get bonus points when I surprise my friend Shoshana: she’s remarkably unflappable. If I’d told her I was getting a giant bat tattoo on my behind, she’d probably nod and say, “Oh, interesting.” But the other day on the phone, when I told her I love it when people sing “Happy Birthday” to […]

From Information to Transformation

I have worked in several organizations where personality tests were a common language, sometimes they became a default for conversation or the butt of many jokes. It was not uncommon to be able to identify strengths, introversion or extroversion or a myriad of other descriptors of one’s work, communication or social style. While this was […]

A Different Kind of Unity

Wherever I found religion in my life I found strife, the attempt of one individual or group to rule another in the name of God. The naked will to power seemed always to walk in the wake of a hymn. – Richard Wright   Nestled between the land masses we call Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan, […]

The Comfort of Luminous Lights

“He is my God though dark my road He holds me, I shall not fall Whatever my God ordains as right To him I leave it all. Sweet comfort, sweet comfort Yet shall fill my heart” –Sandra McCracken, Sweet Comfort   The past few years have been the most difficult of my life. I’ve been […]

When Compassion is Exhausting

The first year of giving a crap, that’s the exciting one. For me, it was back in 2009 and Twitter was a twinkly new toy and microgiving was a new buzzword and everyone had a birthday campaign. “This year for my birthday, all I want is clean water for a village, all I want is […]

Come Eating and Drinking, Come Hungry

In my father’s last days, his hunger vanished.  As he shrunk like a hollowed out husk, his spirit being gathered by the very hand of God, his appetites died within him. The hospice nurse handed me a pamphlet about the stages of death and closed her palm gently over the back of my hand.  “Fluid and food […]

Cooking and the Feeding of Our Souls

I’m becoming my mother. Whenever she comes to visit us, her greatest ambition is to cook for our family. She asks which of her Korean homemade dishes we’d like to eat, and even prior to her stay she prepares in advance by shopping for groceries we can’t find locally. She’s a lady on a mission. […]

The Fringe Hours That Fuel My Life

The lock clicks as it slides open, a loud pop announcing the beginning of the day. I had already been waiting a few minutes outside the door for the restaurant to open, rubbing my tired eyes and stretching my muscles that weren’t yet aware they were supposed to be working this early. Every Friday that […]