• Where Goodness Abides

    Where Goodness Abides

    The menu was straight up Ireland: Corned beef (soaked in 2 pints of Guinness), boiled onions, potatoes and rutabagas. Boiled cabbage. Rye bread slathered in Irish butter. The guests were mostly California transplants. They came via serendipitous routes to Oregon, followings spouses, or children, or[..]
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  • Following Jimmy Buffett’s advice

    Following Jimmy Buffett’s advice

    On my way into town this morning, I heard Jimmy Buffett interviewed on NPR. Ever since I did that residency at the Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts, I've felt a kinship with Jimmy. I am by no means a Parrothead like my buddy Tim[..]
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  • Don’t Give Up

    Don’t Give Up

    My daughter Shelby thanked me for providing her with a sheltered and mostly joyous childhood. She was prompted to do so shortly after I shared my latest dream with her. The dream came to me in a dozing stage, that early sleep when you are[..]
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  • Good Days and Better Days

    Good Days and Better Days

    [caption id="attachment_3881" align="aligncenter" width="768"] View from outside my window at the Portland hotel.[/caption] It snowed this morning. The blowing, blinding kind of snow. It might have been a blizzard if it hadn't stopped, but it did. By noon the sun was breaking through blue sky.[..]
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  • A Message for Stoneman Douglas Students

    A Message for Stoneman Douglas Students

    I told Tim last night that if the students from Parkland go to march in DC I want to be there with them. When my father died in Vietnam I was only nine, which was old actually. I have friends who are visiting Vietnam this[..]
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  • The Problem with Evil

    The Problem with Evil

    The problem with evil is that it absolves good people of responsibility. Decrying society's ills as the result of "evil" in the world renders us helpless. What power does a good person truly hold in the face of "evil"? We can pray. But that's about[..]
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  • Let Us Pray… Again

    Let Us Pray… Again

    The following is a prayer that Roger Fuchs wrote to use in a prayer service he conducts weekly. It is, I think, the most fitting prayer of all in response to yet another mass shooting: Let us pray: Dear God of creation, compassion and redemption,[..]
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  • Swapping out Food Stamps: It’s about more

    Swapping out Food Stamps: It’s about more

    [caption id="attachment_3863" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Photo by Julie Utterback[/caption] It's about choices. By now you've likely heard that part of Trump's very bad, awful, not even realistic budget plan is to gut the food assistance program. Trump and Ryan are lock-step in their efforts to punish the[..]
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  • House-On-Fire Stench

    House-On-Fire Stench

    [caption id="attachment_3855" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Photo by Julie Utterback[/caption] It should have been a peaceful Sunday. Tim was grading papers. I was reading Tayari Jones's latest novel - An American Marriage.  I don't think of our marriage as American or European, although it is probably some[..]
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