Here Lies Fear

Coming of age in any epoch means WEATHER.           Doing it as a burgeoning evangelical in the late 1900s (as my kids love to remind me) was like sipping a tempest in a teacup. There was no smoking, no parties or swearing for this sold-out Jesus-freak. There were—instead—bad perms, sub-par Christian rock, and not-so-subtle-sweatshirts like this […]

Where Truth Lies

You’ve seen it. In rush-hour traffic or the drop-off lane. Bumper Sticker Theology: Big letters. Bright backgrounds. Bold and brief statements . . . About eternity. A precursor to the Socials’ holy eye candy, Christian bumper stickers pack the one-two punch of VISIBILITY and IRRITABILITY for captive audiences. Like their political counterparts, critics have responded […]

Hollowed (Out) Halls of Justice

My daughter excels at catching insects with her bare hands. This skill set is on par with her fluency in “meme” and her ability keep up with Daveed Diggs’ light-speed verses in Hamilton. I am in awe of these aptitudes, and that she wields them despite sharing DNA with me. So, I wasn’t surprised when […]

True (Ghost) Stories

Dear Reader, There are those songs we all have in our heads . . . Some come and go. Others settle in for a season. Then there are the few that linger the longest—part of ghosts from the past, perhaps, that we can’t quite shake. This month’s theme, the virtue of simplicity, conjured up a […]

(Un)Follow Me

Shibuya Crossing simmers like a pot of Tokyo fusion, humming with aromas both foreign and familiar. In seconds its blends of foot and vehicle traffic rise to a rolling boil, and the lid begins to rattle. Ten lanes of traffic grind to a halt just in time for walk signs to open the pedestrian floodgates. […]

These Three Lines

Creepy Lines His classmates trickle into school, trapped Brady-Bunch style in their respective squares. Each boasts a customized backdrop: outer space, Minecraft, background blur, a zoo . . . and Mom-zilla fixing to eat her offspring for breakfast. “Your mom must be thrilled with your background!” my son’s teacher types in the chat. I read […]

Counterfeit

She is even better in person, I think. Better than The Crown. “For nearly 70 years I have kept a tradition of speaking to you at Christmas,” she begins—and we are captivated. She sits regal and poised behind the stately antique desk: a beacon of constancy and hope. An imposing yet festive Christmas tree shimmers […]

Will You Drink?

  And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;     for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation     through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God,     by which the rising sun […]

Green

It’s 3 AM, and “Pachelbel’s Canon” is on loop in my head.  So much for a silent night. Is that too much to expect after a year of noise? Apparently. More music. More tossing and turning. More of the sheet escapes from its comfy home between mattress and box spring. Newly exposed feet embrace a […]

Unmasked

We wait under a warm October sun—in a long line of anxious and eager pretenders. Princesses, pirates, and Baby Yoda wiggle away in excitement as parents corral them back to their designated, socially distanced marks. In front of us stand a pair of brilliantly-costumed frappuccinos (pool noodles attached to headbands for straws = brilliant) and […]

Here, Between the Storms

Mirror Lake shimmers in its craggy casement like a portal to another world. It begs a closer look, so we break from the trail and summit an obliging boulder. Our breathing slows to the rhythm of waves lapping up the muddy shoreline. A granite peak looms overhead. There’s a moonlike tranquility here that I’ve never […]

W(hole)

With summer in the rearview mirror, Christmas in the U.S. officially begins. I pretend to be disgusted with this premature nod to my favorite holiday. I may even roll my eyes and heave out a very audible sigh as I push past the seasonal aisle at Target (where green and red replaced sequins study pillows […]

Twisted

My high school mascot was a pretzel. I know. It gets worse. This—and middle-child status—explains a lot of my issues. On the upside, you won’t find my alma maters in the fray of mascot-related rhetoric lately making news. Ex: “You can eat us but you can’t beat us!” and rival schools trampling pretzels by the […]

The Voices

Kim is a college professor by weekday, but works hostile mob patrol at the week’s end. A Saturday morning moonlighter, Kim stands on the front lines—or rather the sidelines—of American youth soccer fields. You’ll find her bravely canvassing the crowds of lawn chair-clad parents, grandparents, bored siblings and panting dogs. (After a bad call, sometimes […]

And You Will Hear Thunder

There were sleepless nights. Covers hiding eyes shut tight, palms clamped down over tangles of ears and hair, all to no avail. The summer storms sweeping over my midwestern childhood home would not be tamed. Lighting stole through shades, sheets and eyelids as I lay trembling in my bed. Night winds tore through our hickory […]

In Bed with Shame

Confession: Sometimes I watch “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” just so I feel better about my own life. I can’t always tell them apart, but there’s something satisfying about seeing Kim, Kourtney, Khloé, Kendall, Kylie, Kris, Caitlyn and Rob weave in and out of drama. (Thank goodness for Rob, as all good alliteration must come […]