Discerning Dignity

Discerning Dignity

Those of us who grew up in the United States learned about it in school. Those of us who live in the United States sometimes refer to it in conversation and occasionally see and hear snippets of it on television, the radio, newspapers, or the internet. References to...
Wonderfully Absurd

Wonderfully Absurd

There was a locust tree in the back yard of my parents’ house. Its spindly, feathery leaves and smooth, compact trunk seemed out of place among the rough, sprawling trunks and sturdy, angular leaves of Kansas’ cottonwoods. Moreover, something about the tree’s color...
Through a Glass, Darkly

Through a Glass, Darkly

In 1993, on a journey to Moscow, Russia, I encountered iconography in a spectacular way.  Icons seemed to be everywhere. To my 19-year-old eyes, this ubiquitous spiritual art, like everything else in the former (but only just former) Soviet Union seemed mysterious,...
The Person Who Loves, No Matter What

The Person Who Loves, No Matter What

Occasionally, one of my students would accidentally call me “Mom.”  This would not have been unusual, if I’d taught Kindergarten or first or second grade.  But I did not teach at an elementary school.  I taught at a university.  Inevitably, the student who had...
Nothing Heard

Nothing Heard

I am alone on this night road, with nothing for company but the hum of the tires, the purr of the engine, and the transmissions – some as strong as if the speaker were sitting next to me, some barely audible beneath the static – fading in and out of the radio lying on...