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 […]

Loneliness is a State of Mind

  There can be a loneliness in reading, because it is such a solitary act. Even in talking about books, it can be hard to accurately describe their affect, because how can soul-deep language be reduced to mere words? There can be an aloneness in reading, too, in that one does it to be alone, […]

The Paradox of Unity

The last few months of my life have been an unexpected time-out. I’ve taken a (somewhat) self -induced sabbatical. This past July I lost my job. Two months later after nervously taking another job, I was unemployed again. Somewhere between all this employment drama, my grandmommy died—and that’s only a very small sampling of the […]

The Truth of Loneliness

I remember a show where a magician betrays his sacred order, and with a heavy shadow disguising his face, spills the secrets of his magic. The secrets of marriage are far more closely guarded. You won’t catch many people admitting to how much sex they have or don’t have. Most wives wisely caption their social […]

Abandoning God

We have been experiencing a bit of a thaw here in the Midwest, so the air has spring smell about it. The mud, the warmth, the melted snow, have fooled us all into thinking that spring is here. Growing up in Alaska, we generally had one thaw per year, in late April. Unlike other places […]

Sitting on the Fringe

  I pass by the holy water font without pausing, fifty-three years of reflex gone. I slide into a pew tucked in the back corner of the cavernous church, an arm’s reach from the flickering votive candles. An arm’s reach from the nearest exit. It was not always thus between you and I. I spent […]

Fear Not

I sat there, sipping my mocha, while our daughter rolled a ball across the floor, back and forth, and periodically tried to escape from the little corner we had planted ourselves in, waiting for them to call the flight. I took a picture or two of father and daughter, grinning, holding each other close. And […]

Why Does Twitter Terrify Me?

Why does using my words terrify me so much? Let’s start out with a confession: Twitter terrifies me. I got my handle a few years ago. The day my friend Melissa explained to me how she manages her twitter account, makes lists, what she posts, and what a hashtag is, my heart thudded in my […]