Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Prophet in Solitary

What if you were locked up for twenty-seven years? I am listening to the radio, and a man is talking about his advocacy for prisoners in solitary confinement. He receives, he says, fifty letters a day from men in solitary. He reads from several letters. The one that has my jaw hanging slack comes from…

When the Game Breaks Down

We often speak about life as a game. If we’re going to succeed or “win,” we have to have determination, zeal, a willingness to fight and prevail against all comers. But tucked into the corners of that metaphor is also the sense that human life in society is governed by artificial rules or expectations—the kind…

Overthinking the Miracle

This morning the rains doused everything and then moved on. The clouds broke and the early morning sun broke through. Coming low off the horizon it backlit a wet landscape. I looked out and saw the bare and black tree branches dripping with tiny water droplets and in the brilliant sun they appeared as a…

Tell Me About Your Family

I was reading this week about Mary Karr, the poet and author of The Liar’s Club, the runaway bestseller from a few years ago. I was surprised once again by how normal it is to be “abnormal,” and yet how frightening that is to be. Karr was born in 1955 in Groves, Texas, a small town…

Cry of the Heart

I am on a plane. There are three mentally handicapped men two rows behind me. I saw them at the gate. Actually, I heard them at the gate—heard someone cry out, as if in sudden pain. I turned immediately to see what was the matter. It was a man whose body was torqued, whose face…