I live in Michigan. I originated “down state,” but I grew up “up north.” I don’t think anybody knows for sure where “up north” starts, but where I live now is considered “down state,” but it’s not as far down the mitten as where I started. Up north starts for me where the trees […]

T.S. Eliot: Poet to Work Day 2014

photo 4

      Last year I cajoled Emily Dickinson out of the house for Take Your Poet to Work Day. I forgot failed to tell her I wasn’t really going to work that day but that we were going on vacation, and she was going to meet a lot of new people and have a boatload […]

Still Saturday: Why There is No Need to Rush


  “The theology of progress forces us to act before we are ready. We speak before we know what to say. We respond before we feel the truth of what we know. In the process, we inadvertently create suffering, heaping imprecision upon inaccuracy, until we are all buried under a mountain of misperception. But Sabbath […]

Scripture Sunday: Like a Tree

(Tahquamenon Falls)

But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers— Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season. ~Jeremiah 17:7-8 (MSG) In the stillness, […]

Still Saturday: The Problem with Busyness


  “To remember is, literally, to put broken pieces back together, to re-member. It is to create an original wholeness out of what has become scattered fragments . . . “There is a terrible cost to our busyness. It erodes memory. Or worse than that: it turns good memory into mere nostalgia–memory falsified and petrified–and […]

Compassion: What Makes My Blood Boil?

Spin compassion

    I stretch out under a crisp white sheet on a soft mattress, head sinking into the pillow. A student will do the procedure today. She applies the electrodes. One… two… three. “Yay, they’re warm,” I say. She cocks her head. “They are? Oh, they were sitting next to the machine.” “You should store […]

Fitting in Just Fine (Spiritual Misfit)

Spiritual Misfit Bible

  I don’t remember what sparked the argument. But we stood outside the cloakroom inside the second-floor classroom in the old brick school that’s long since crumbled. The classroom where the fire escape tunnel slide exited. The tunnel we loved to play in after school while we waited for the two buses to return for […]

Straining Memories


    I’ve heard the story many times. I’m dawdling as I dress for school in front of the furnace. My mom’s trying to speed things up. If I miss the bus, she threatens, I’ll spend the day in bed–at least until the bus would normally return late that afternoon. I don’t care. I miss the bus. […]