On Robert Macfarlane, and how the words we use define us

Toni Morrison said that language “arcs toward the place where meaning may lie,” but life also arcs toward language. This is beautifully explored in the movie Arrival, when a linguist’s apprehension of an alien language shapes her own experience of time. But it is terrifying when language lies, oppresses, steals, and erases—and life distorts in … More On Robert Macfarlane, and how the words we use define us

Festival of Faith and Writing 2018: I think we need a password

I’m back from three days in Grand Rapids, where I reconnected with spiritual writing friends and colleagues from all over the country for the 2018 Festival of Faith and Writing. The weather was pitiful, because Michigan, but the company was as delightful as ever. I don’t know how they do it, but the festival organizers … More Festival of Faith and Writing 2018: I think we need a password

Tales of Loss and Longing: St Greg’s Acoustic Chapel Series, February 23 in Chicago

I’m really excited about collaborating with the Acoustic Chapel series at St. Gregory the Great in Chicago with my Love and Salt co-author Amy Andrews to produce Tales of Loss and Longing. Amy and I will both be reading  new work and introducing The Stapletons, who created one of my favorite albums of 2017: Battles and Ballads. … More Tales of Loss and Longing: St Greg’s Acoustic Chapel Series, February 23 in Chicago

My Vocation

My vocation is to write. When I’m tempted to distraction or guilt over all the other work that needs doing in the church and the world, I must repeat this to myself: My vocation is to write.  We’re all called to kingdom building, but words are the only tools that fit in my hands. When I’ve … More My Vocation

Torschlusspanik

The term midlife crisis comes from the German torschlusspanik, which translates as  ‘shut-door panic,’ — a fear of being on the wrong side of a closing door. Torschlusspanik isn’t just for the middle years of life, whatever those years may be. Sometimes the space on the other side of the door feels like dead space—an empty house or one less … More Torschlusspanik