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…

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…

Holy Saturday/Glorious Pascha

Will you be there? The question came from a friend as I was leaving the Good Friday service and then, from someone else today, this Holy Saturday, through Facebook. Yes. I will be there.  I cannot tell you how good it is to be asked this question. For me, spending a lot of time on the edges of social gatherings, church meetings, any kind of event that requires me to “be” there…

Good Friday: Breath and Bones

Good Friday always finds me lacking, or running, or desperate to “catch up.”  So, in an effort to dial things back a notch and at the same time, dig in to the quiet moments of a crazy life, I’ll just offer this today. I offer it because poetry has the ability to reach those deep places in me no matter what the circumstances of my life. And I want to connect with…

Holy Thursday: Still

O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. Yea, Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother, for Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen. -St. Ephrem The Syrian Every morning during the week I drop…

Holy Wednesday: Oil and Air

O Lord who, in thy mercies and bounties, healest the disorders of our souls and bodies, do Thou, the same Master, sanctify this Oil, that it may be effectual for those who shall be anointed therewith, unto healing, and unto relief from every passion, every malady of the flesh and of the spirit, and every ill; and that therein may be glorified Thy most Holy Name, of the Father, and of the…