First a Story: When I was in third grade our teacher gave us a weekend assignment: Come back on Monday with as many ways to use a toothbrush as you can. The kid with the most different, original ways will get a prize.
I tried really hard. I thought of all the things you could scrub and scratch. I came up with a whole list of things you could poke with the handle or decorate with the bristles. I asked my mom and my big brother and the neighbor lady for ideas. By Monday I
The reason for life is ineffable, but here's a story I like: Life exists to experience limitation. Let's say you are an omniscient god. There is an inherent contradiction in this. If you are omniscient you can't know surprise. If you can't know surprise, you aren't omniscient. You have similar issues with omnipotence. If you are omnipotent you should be able to do everything, but you can't want something that you are unable to do. In short, god, you have a problem with your j
There are two spiritual games I play, rackets as Alan Watts might say, as meaningless and diverting as solitaire on my phone. One is spiritual bypass, and the other is spiritual materialism. They are related.
Spiritual bypass is the hope that I can transcend the painful grit of my life by rising above it spiritually. Maybe I won't have to feel my chest and groin torn apart when my lover betrays me, maybe I can just forgive everyone involved - as a saint might do. As it
I'd like to write about an unassuming jewelry box filled with gravel and tiny bones.
I left California for Montana a week after my tenth birthday. Just before my birthday, my mother had given me a little beige jewelry box identical to this one: In the week before I Ieft, I filled the box with the treasures I had so far: the green metallic shell of a dead japanese beetle, a nearly complete mouse skeleton from the field near my school and a tiny silver heart on a chain that I
When I was two, my mother broke my arm because I couldn't stop crying.
Part One -- suffering in
My mother had dreamed of having children, but she struggled with rage. Looking back now, I know she was horrified and ashamed by what she had done.
To my mother, evil was something that made her feel bad, after my broken arm that something was me. It eased her discomfort to believe that she was only responding to my true nature. She was a victim, if you will, of her child's