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…

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 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…

Not Yet Lent: Listening Season

That quirky calendar has created a wide gap between the “western” Lent and the “eastern” Lent once again. All I can think is that my Peeps are going to be really really stale by the time I eat them. It’s a small thing and honestly, as I get older, peeps become less and less palatable. Let’s just say that if you are a confirmed Peep hater, you can feel a little bit…

For those who have fallen- Lenten Regrets

  Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again; for forgiveness has risen from the grave. —St John Chrysostom It is always here, in the dark of Good Friday just before Pascha, that I find all the regret I have stored up over the years. It’s a pressing lie, heavy and persistent. It sounds right to me in the dark. It sounds reasonable and clear, repeating over and over,…

Lenten fasts for the cooking impaired

  Lent is coming. I dread it every single year. I don’t dread the practice of fasting or the season Lent. In fact, I really dig it. The trouble comes in the fact that a)my family is picky and unaccustomed to the vegan thing and b)I’m a terrible cook. I need handlers. This is what I need. I need to be Oprah during long fasting periods. I could be awesome if I…