Essays

Short personal, cultural, and journalistic essays for those on the margins of faith

Sister Nature

“Oh yeah, Christians totally hate the environment. You didn’t know that?”   I overheard this statement after Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Part One was released in theaters, and it bothered me.   Tolkien’s rich, imaginative work, along with his beloved hobbits…

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Mending the World

Growing up Jewish, it was not unusual to hear about humanity’s mandate to care for the environment in synagogue, in addition to hearing about God. In fact, I learned more about basic ways of caring for the earth – not…

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Think Little

It’s a little bit passive-aggressive, I suppose, but I enjoy scandalizing my mom. My most recent attempt involved the statement, “I was reading an excellent Playboy article the other day…” When her bespectacled nose wrinkled up a bit, I continued…

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Letting Myself See God Again

Mountains stretched to the horizon, mountain after mountain: most of them blue-green with evergreens, a few tall enough to be topped with rocks and snow. The closest had a peak covered by a meadow bright with flowers: gold, scarlet, and…

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A Walk Among the Wildflowers

We head out this morning, a day my daughter and I are supposed to spend together, in a hurry. I’m late for my hair appointment, and we don’t have time for that chai tea I promised her. She doesn’t complain…

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Garden Mortality

I lived in Maine, that faraway state of lobsters and oysters and loons. Moreover, I lived at the back door of a national park, Acadia, famous for its pink granite cliffs, its glacial lakes, its waves crashing steel-blue and white…

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Changed by Mystery

One painting grounds my spirit every time I see it. I have bookmarked the image on all my devices. I have written about it, researched it, and given lectures about it, but I have yet to put my finger on…

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Getting Used to Good News

Sometimes, I’m not sure I’m happy enough for Easter. When it comes around each year, I sing the alleluia’s that we have stopped saying during Lent, and I clap a lot and say, “He is risen indeed,” when I am…

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After the X

A Crucifixion Poem, for Good Friday   Some small thing, a thread of sweat on a forehead, hidden by cursive ashen hair—these we know. An X there, over and over our brow as water runs and his neck drops And she…

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The Hustle

I have an acquaintance who started one of those on-the-side, make-a-little-extra-cash-selling-products-you-already-use businesses. We don’t see each other often, so when I ran into her last Thursday we casually chatted and caught up.   “How’s it going?” “Good!” The products sell…

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