Writing is Home


I read Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity and Writing by L.L. Barkat while spending a week in a church that’s been converted into a home.

Writing is like that. Its presence towered over most of my life with the stillness of a holy temple. Grandiose. Imposing. Until I finally flushed a toilet, heard truth echo through a cavernous sanctuary — with the noise of everyday water.

Writing, it turns out, is a place to inhabit.

Modern culture has discombobulated our sense of place. The hub of the kitchen table no longer holds together the farm and work shed like it once did. Now our most important occupations are prone to the sprawl of square miles, states, even countries. We do our best to knit together these habitations of work, family and faith, using long threads of concrete interstates and digital texts.

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The Blues Cry of a Fruit Fly

Consider this: “The ordinary fruit fly can change the direction of its flight by 90 degrees in about 50-thousandths of a second.” In an article published on abcnews.com, Lee Dye points out that this maneuvering “has long puzzled scientists and engineers.”

And when this “feat” takes place during a Sunday morning worship service, count me among the puzzled, too. Continue reading

Invitation vs. Distraction

Before we left the house this morning, I followed Henry and James around the house with two large blue robot-printed bags and had them choose toys and books for their big adventure. The boys were going to sit with Mommy and Daddy at church today, instead of going to their usual class, because it was Family Worship Sunday.

Henry chose some farm animals to whom he has become quite attached lately. Just yesterday, he conducted a marriage ceremony for two of them, a love-struck horse and cow. So I commended him on his choice this morning, noting church would be a good way to begin their honeymoon.

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Lifting Us Off the Page

Word by word, time stretches across the nouns and verbs of my day, like a long, linear blue ribbon from the edge of a cursor, tentatively highlighting the scattered, choppy fragments of the day. 

Time helps me bind those circumstances into sentences, into something that hopefully matters. Every day I struggle for a word-processed coherence, doing my best to compose meaning and structure as I go. But often there isn’t time to cut. Let alone to paste. Continue reading