Poetry and Liturgy and Holy Week

  “Poetry is when language attains a degree of opacity, and you can’t see right through it.” This quote came from my pal, Scott Cairns when I asked him to talk about the intersection of poetry and liturgy. I was fortunate to have gathered a small posse of smart Orthodox poet-types and ask them questions at the Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids . Much wisdom came forth from Scott, Gaelan…

Eating Clean (and the wisdom of cupcakes)

This post has been re-written like twelve times so far. I’m wrestling with the post because all I can think about are cupcakes. True story. When I went to Panera Bread this week the sign on the door informed me that all of their ingredients were now “clean.” I thought to myself, “I hope they have cupcakes and I don’t care how ‘clean’ they are.” I do care, though, a little. If…

Sustenance: On Eating

an excerpt from Garden in the East: The Spiritual Life of the Body And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” (Mark 14: 22) WHEN, IN THE GOSPEL OF MARK, the author tells us that Jesus took the bread, blessed and broke it, the word used for blessed in the Greek is eulogéo, literally translated…

All the time: Homeless and Hungry

A homeless man with no legs broke me of giving money to people on the street. I was new to Chicago, finishing my degree at Columbia College and trying to get my band “discovered” in the meantime. He stopped me on my way to class downtown and asked for some cash to stay at the YMCA. I did not have that much money. I had tokens to get the train to school and…

Forgiveness Vespers for the Introvert

In a few hours I will take up my usual place at church, there along the back wall in the corner. I will stand and listen and pray and think about the sounds of the traffic outside, about the laundry list of things I’ve left undone this weekend, about the trip I’m taking on Thursday out of the country. I will watch the candle light dance. I will inhale the deep scent…

Pause.

Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. Hebrews 4:1 I need some rest. I can tell because my eye is twitching. My eye twitches like this when I’m overly tired or overwhelmed. Last night I lay in bed and the “to do” list in my head switched on. I stared at the ceiling, eye twitching, mind…

Garden in the East

I’ve been working on the new book this past few months. It’s going well. I think that’s what I’m supposed to say, by default, whenever someone asks, and so that is what I say. If they press further, I might mention the potholes, the detours or the time wasted at the truck stops because the road to finishing this book has been, at times, no damn fun. Writing books is not always…