My Ignorance and Disrespect of Books Offends

The bookstore I operate currently features a table displaying books about Christianity. We do this every year at this time, because every year at this time, Easter. We’ll do it again in December, because Christmas. Today I received a complaint via email about a book featured on the table. The gist of the complaint was that Zealot:…

Longing

A stone drops into a pond, punches a hole in it. Water balls up, born, leaps up and out, alive in drops that sing, rise, separate from the rest. No longer at rest, they spin, suspended, frozen, apart. No longer a part of the whole, they wonder, question, desire. They stall. They begin to fall.…

Truth, shopping carts, theories of everything

We need a Theory of Everything for religion. You know, like the one physicists are looking for in physics. One that ties up in a nice little bundle all the disparate understandings, or lack thereof. One that makes all the little quantum thingies and big space-time things that do (or don’t) make sense by themselves…

Words like violence break the silence

Ideas continue to bubble up, and sometimes desire. But there is no time, and not much energy. Writing feels like something I used to do, a long time ago. The actors always convince me, to my horror, that most of what I’ve written about them until now is false. It is false because I write…

Smell That Bird: A Thanksgiving Comeuppance

Holidays for us were always a Steven King book. An overly long and sickening affair. My sisters, upon hearing of our brother John’s plan to leave the country for Thanksgiving, called him a traitor and used him as target practice for their eye-daggers. He left in mid-November for four weeks. There was only one problem…

The Epistle of the Galatian Agitant

You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? ~ The Letter of St. Paul to the Galatians, 3:1 Purportedly written in the late first century A.D. in  response to accusations made by the Apostle Paul in his Letter to the Galatians, The Epistle of the Galatian Agitant is an obscure, non-canonical text considered by scholars to be…

A quick thought on thought

A junior monk was carrying water from the river to the main house. Seeing his master chopping wood, he stopped to ask, “Master, what is thought?” The master paused, and responded, “Thought is breath.” The junior monk did not understand, but it was clear his master had no more to say. He continued to the…

In which the governor decides to attack

When we last left him, The Governor had blood on his sword and two heads on the ground. Here’s what comes next… Plans Later that evening, Commander Drogan entered his tent to find the Governor reclined on his cot. Drogan’s cot. “It’s about time,” said the Governor, puffing on his water pipe. Drogan’s water pipe.…

Zen and the Art of Being Dick Hercules

I’d been so looking forward to Sunday. I had just sat down, my bottom on my cushion, my cushion on the floor, floor atop the mountain, mountain near Kyoto, Japan, and I was preparing for my first bout of zazen — the seated meditation — here at the monastery atop Mount Hiei. I scrunched into…

small bite from a big piece

This is an excerpt from a work in progress. It has a beginning, and an ending of sorts, but is otherwise just a taste from a dish still cooking. Awhile back I posted another excerpt, which you can revisit here if you’d like. That one comes immediately before this one, and features the same characters.…

Where to begin

Consider the arrival of a new tenant to a basement apartment. He is a young man in his late twenties. He has a goatee and sideburns, because the year is 1998, and most young men of that time had those things on their face. He wears jeans and a t-shirt, has very few belongings, all…