There Are No Orcs

There Are No Orcs

Stories like the Lord of the Rings make me want to do something brave. When the movie ends or I set down the book, I nearly call for my sword. But I have no sword or anyone to swing one at. Then I remember: there are no Orcs. I wish […]

Truth Proximity

Truth Proximity

A friend told me yesterday that she had reformulated her conception of truth. Previously she had thought that you either believed in universal objective truths that are plain for all to see, or had to take the other extreme as a total relativist. Now she thought the truth was somewhere […]

Dishwater — A Meditation

Dishwater — A Meditation

I own a mechanical dishwasher but wash my dishes by hand. I wash them in a portable plastic basin that collects the soiled water. I use this water in my garden, which is watered solely with dishwater and rain. The plants don’t seem to mind the diluted soap and enjoy […]

Relationship Yield

Relationship Yield

For a long time I thought you could tell how good a relationship was by the amount of work it took. Bad relationships took lots of work. Good ones were easier. Then I found out that great relationships take lots of work too. A couple who charts a course for […]

Breakfast with Tony

Breakfast with Tony

I sit alone in the crowded diner, but happily. Several others are alone too: a sad looking woman in her thirties, overweight; a gruff looking man in his sixties, engrossed in his newspaper. The woman looks so lonely. I’m not lonely, but this morning I’m feeling unusually compassionate. Should I […]

The Monastery

The Monastery

The layout of the monastery confuses me, as do all the archaic names. I’m looking for the building where guests take their meals. Finally, I see one of the reclusive monks a ways ahead on the gravel road. I jog, reverently as I can, till overtaking him. “Excuse me Brother, […]

Intention: an Impression

Intention: an Impression

In college I took to attending debates that pitted a Christian against an atheist. The Christian always asserted, among other things, that he knew exactly what the point of the universe was. The atheist was certain the universe had no point. The two got along terribly. It seemed to me […]

Church

Church

I went to church today with a friend. The man preaching had a good heart and worked with the poor, homeless, and addicted. He was even so humble as to share that he himself had once had a problem with addiction. Then he remarked, rather softly, that no amount of […]

Good Religion / Bad Religion

Good Religion / Bad Religion

I was at a party the other night chatting pleasantly with a young girl who was leaving for Africa to be a missionary. I kept my reservations about so-called mission-work to myself so as not to start a religious debate. Then she asked, “Who do you think Jesus was?” Not […]