Nature

The Farthest Edge: The Story of a Photo

August 1, 2013

“You’re not going any farther than this,” the man said. There was a warning tone in his voice and a charge in his eyes, which gleamed blue-gray in the last light of day, like the sky that was fading to dusk. We had walked from the street above us down a wooden staircase to this […]

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Heaven Knows, This is a Heartland

July 22, 2011

A Christian is, quite honestly, the last thing I’d want to be considered when I hear the versions put forth by candidates whom God has allegedly called to run for the highest office in the nation. And here in this heartland, there is supposed to be some special values added stamp, as if merely being born here and living here gives one a primeval virtue blessed by God. But virtue isn’t regional, and the heartland, while dear to me, oozes with its own primordial tangle in its virtue talk. A lot of it seems to me to be mere blood lust, not virtue; a swift and sharp judgment for those who have not imprinted the model of family or relationships that the talkers have carefully defined in, oh, say, 14 point bulletins.

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Patrick the Pit Bull–Sometimes it Takes a Dog’s Spirit

April 8, 2011

Those caring for Patrick have said that in spite of all that he has suffered, he is gentle and trusting. Sometimes it takes a dog’s spirit.

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Patrick the Pit Bull: The Story in His Eyes

March 27, 2011

Never try to tell me that animals don’t have a spirit, for I will not believe you. It is there in his eyes, an awareness, a world-weariness, a sadness, but also a growing steadiness, a flicker, a spark. How he survived in the condition he did is beyond understanding, like so many other things in his story. But he did survive. Your days of suffering are over, Patrick, although it will take time to heal. Welcome to life. I wish that the same could be said for all who suffer.

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The Wild, Strange Heart of El Salvador

March 18, 2011

The mountains were cool, and in a couple of hours we’d be back in the heat and traffic of San Salvador, the humidity and the smoke and the coiled barbed wire and the craziness; the voices of the guards drifting through the window at dawn. But even before the sound of their voices, when the curtain that blew all night in the breeze finally came to rest in the first faint light, I heard, earlier and wilder than any other voices, the calls of birds, or some kind of animal–I never found out what they were. The calls seemed distant, as if they came from a mile or more away, but also loud, amplified. They were not chirpy calls. They were like peals. Maybe they were laughter. I heard them in the silence before the city awoke, and wondered at the wild, strange heart of El Salvador.

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The Lovely Ordinary

August 6, 2009

What is larger than life than this? The sun is setting; I have made a breakfast of bread and milk for the morning, my dog is lying by the front door, Geoff is reading on the steps above me, for I am sitting on the stairway in order to be near the west window. It is quiet. The sky is rose. And it is always all that we have…this moment, and it is enough.

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