Light of the World

I live with my family in an impoverished sector of the sprawling Denver metro area. In 1995, I spent a summer here, my first summer immersed in inner-city life, inner-city ministry. I lived with 17 other college students on old mattresses in the dusty back rooms of an urban church, housed in what had been…

Anne Lamott on writing…

"This is our goal as writers, I think; to help others have this sense of--please forgive me--wonder, of seeing things anew, things that can catch us off guard, that break in on our small, bordered worlds. When this happens, everything feels more spacious. Try walking around with a child who's going, "Wow, wow! Look at…

I don’t know.

Sometimes "I don't know" is me at my most intelligent. What's the capitol of Uzbekistan? I don't know. Where are my car keys? I don't know. What direction should I go? Where is God? Why? I hate not knowing. I would like to be Lucy with her nickel-a-proverb psychiatric business, always with the answers. But…

Souped-up Slush Pile

Here's a quick tutorial on the publishing industry for those of you who've never had a compulsion to stick pins in your pupils. Step One: Pour weeks, months, years into heartbreaking work of staggering genius (thanks, Dave Eggers) Step Two: Submit baby to publisher to be kicked back with rude note -- get an agent!…

The Habit of Seeing

Annie Dillard has mastered it.  To see -- to see closely and to see expansively -- to see the habits of crickets and the wide-wheeling stars, behind them both wisdom, and grace, and fearful purpose.  And there are those who see people -- see the quirks and the guiding passions, behind them the yearning for…