Do I really have to leave lockdown? Confessions of an introvert

There’s a scene in Stir Crazy, the 1980 comedy about two men running from the law, when Gene Wilder’s introspective character is about to be let out of solitary confinement.

“One more day, one more day,” he says to the guard in front of him. “I was just beginning to get into myself.” Continue reading

What a miracle looks like

Every morning after I wake up these days, I sip my coffee and hunch over my phone for far too long. What has happened overnight in our Covid-19 world? I’m afraid to know but I want to stay informed. Continue reading

The April 15th that never happened

It’s April 15th. Normally this is a day for celebration in our household. Peter has finished the long race to the end of tax season. He and his staff go out for margaritas to celebrate. At home we finally have time to discuss fun things like upcoming vacation plans and the start of baseball season. Continue reading

Adventures in dog obedience training with Romeo and Sara: Part 2

Romeo’s fluffy white beard is matted with clumps of sticky peanut butter and his breath smells of Pupperoni dog treats. As soon as Sara leaves, he runs to his water bowl in the kitchen and drains it. Then he lays down in his spot in the living room for a nap. He’s just finished an hour-long session of dog obedience training. Continue reading

What St. Teresa is teaching me about the new year

I’m giving myself an hour or two to write this morning. As with a lot of my writing, I don’t know where this will go. But today seems significant. It’s the last day of the year; tomorrow is a new decade. It seems right to pause, to linger over my coffee and enjoy a bit of solitude before tonight’s festivities. Continue reading

Zen and the art of making movies (with Miguel)

Earlier this month I flew to New York to watch my son Miguel film his final thesis project, a short movie he wrote, directed and starred in. It was fascinating observing a movie set up close and watching a group of about 20 people–cast and crew–throw themselves into the project for a marathon four days. I felt I had stepped into another world, the world of a New York film student, but also the world of a tender story about two brothers wrestling with their faith. Continue reading

Training the third child

This was our second week of dog obedience training. I say “our” because it’s training both for Romeo and me. It’s still early in this process, but I am hopeful that I can teach Romeo—not exactly an old dog at age 7, but not a young one either—new tricks. Continue reading

A summertime book drought

It’s summer, the ideal time for reading a good book and I’m in a book drought. If you enjoy reading, you know what I mean. You just can’t seem to find a compelling book, no matter how hard you try, and your whole world seems gray. Continue reading

Showing Miguel’s film in Guatemala–heartbreak and hope

As soon as her face appeared on the screen, her husband began to sob. He cried loudly and his moans filled the packed classroom. I began to cry too as I heard his grief. I glanced around and saw everyone else—the middle school students, the teachers and her family–wiping away tears as well. Continue reading

Destination Guatemala

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I leave for Guatemala tomorrow. It will be my fifth trip to Guatemala and third time visiting Panyebar, a small village in the Western Highlands where my friends and I help support a middle school, preschool and library. (I’m pictured with one of the teachers above.) The village is a magical place, a small town of about 2,000 people, nestled high in the mountains and often shrouded in mist. It is surrounded by fields of corn, beans and coffee, growing in rich volcanic soils. Continue reading