You can sometimes feel the most alone when you are in a crowd. In the waning days of summer, in mid September, I walked through a street festival in Chicago. It was warm and humid still. Winter seemed impossibly far away. And everyone was more concerned about the band on the stage, the arts and crafts being sold by vendors, and navigating around baby strollers and dogs … Continue reading Solitude

Christmas in Vienna

Christmas somehow makes more sense in Vienna. That’s the conclusion I reached in a visit this winter, when I happened upon Vienna’s “Christkindlmarkt.” The outdoor market and festival is located in the city’s Rathausplatz, which is basically their city hall… never mind that it looks like a Gothic church or palace. Actually, do mind. The building is only 150 years old, designed in the Neo-Gothic style. But, it is a … Continue reading Christmas in Vienna

The reassurance of peace

This summer in Chicago, there was a dazzling display of air technology and skill: the annual air show, during which crowds blanketed the city’s shoreline to watch extraordinary machines perform feats of wonder in the air. These planes were magnificent. They were a marvel of human ingenuity. They were a testament to the skills the pilots developed over hours of effort to hone their natural talents. And yet, these were machines of … Continue reading The reassurance of peace

Is It Better to Be Tied to a Tree Than Squashed on the Freeway?

Originally posted on mom and dad move in:
Baby Walter — that’s what everyone called him since his dad was also named Walter and no one much liked the sound of “junior” — spent most of his single-digit years tethered to one heavy object or another. His older sister Tina was one of my closest friends. We grew up in the 1970s and 1980s at… Continue reading Is It Better to Be Tied to a Tree Than Squashed on the Freeway?

If I Have Gay Children: Four Promises From A Christian Pastor/Parent

Originally posted on john pavlovitz:
Sometimes I wonder if I’ll have gay children. I’m not sure if other parents think about this, but I do; quite often. Maybe it’s because I have many gay people in my family and circle of friends. It’s in my genes and in my tribe. Maybe it’s because, as a pastor of students, I’ve seen and heard the horror stories of… Continue reading If I Have Gay Children: Four Promises From A Christian Pastor/Parent

A dying plant in Highland Park, on concrete-laden Figueroa Blvd.

The beauty of hope

Highland Park, whose busy Figueroa Blvd is pictured in the photo above, is an interesting relic of Los Angeles’ past. As with many similar neighborhoods in cities all around the country, it appears to be experiencing an urban Renaissance after decades of neglect and decay. It has a dignity to it, acquired through a century of existence and its once proud position as an important Western … Continue reading The beauty of hope