And so we come to the end

Saturday, April 7th. Holy Saturday, the 46th and final day of Lent.

Today is the final day of lent for 2012 and my 46th straight day of posting here. It was an ambitious goal, but I’m glad I tried it.

Knowing I had this deadline each day caused me to shift gears and begin to think like a writer again. Because one secret to writing well is to avoid sitting in front of a blank piece of paper trying to think of something to write. That way is creative death. The move you make is to open your eyes and begin to look closely at the world around you. Every day you and I encounter enough subjects for 40 or 50 essays. If you want to write, begin by looking at the world around you and noticing things. Every time you see something interesting, write it down in the notebook that you CARRY WITH YOU ALL THE TIME. Writers, you do have a notebook, right? Continue reading

Cigarettes and Juniper

Friday, April 6th. Good Friday.

I was on my way back from the artist hermitages at Laity Lodge last weekend when I saw an ashtray near the outdoor fireplace. That kind of surprised me. Laity Lodge isn’t exactly the kind of place where people do a lot of smoking. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone smoking in the 20 years I’ve been going there.

That doesn’t mean people don’t smoke at Laity Lodge. But it doesn’t seem to be common. And generally you don’t see ashtrays except in places where people smoke a lot.

I say there are two likely explanations for the existence of this ashtray. Continue reading

Maundy Thursday

Thursday, April 5th. Maundy Thursday.

My first ever Maundy Thursday service. I am fifty years old, but I am young at heart and ready to experience all things new.

Saint Luke’s, how your beauty has broken my heart. Your priests have proved to be gentle and kind. The two I have met know my name and greet me with great love. Tonight John Badders smiled to see me. Gillian met me in the parking lot with a gentle hug.

The service was beyond words in its beauty and meaning for me. Like a great work of art hanging in a sacred space. Metaphysical claims about truth and God and existence simply have no place before such beauty. Continue reading