Like a single thread of yarn stretching into the void of history, attached to solid mooring of ancestral days, unraveling ever on toward the future. The thread connects all of us, from the simplest peasant to the grandest king, past, present, and future. Every beautiful life hangs as a colorful flag on that thread, gently waving in the breeze of time.
Cars pass by sending mist up into the night. Slowly, slowly, the moon creeps up over the mountain’s edge, casting pale light onto the peaceful valley, painting soft texture into shadows in the back parking lot of Jerry’s Place. My perch, about 15 feet up from the ground, is a perfect alcove of serenity in the midst of a pretty chaotic existence down below.
The day after seeing Josh, while sitting at home alone in my apartment, I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t more excited to see him, and he, to see me. It’s not that we don’t love or care for each other; on the contrary, I deeply care about every one of my brothers, and would gladly give my life for their safety and happiness.
Travel: a temporary cure to a hereditary existence. I travel, for brief respite from my pain; but, like scratching an itch, the longing becomes stronger after the respite. There is nothing quite the same, as an open road ahead of the car; there is nothing better than trees rushing by the window; or waking up to a new city.
In this photograph (above) illustrating an article of mine published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette in October, Alia Starkweather, then 82, was leaving her clapboard cottage in Belchertown to embark on a new and exciting life on the road. She purchased a 1987 Toyota Minicruiser and set out on her own after Thanksgiving. I met Starkweather while writing […]
I was on the tail end of a Greyhound backpacking trip around the United States, meeting interesting people and hitching rides when I could. So far, I’d been to the Grand Canyon, spent a few days in Las Vegas, and stopped at various cities along the way. Earlier, I’d caught a taxi to Mount Rushmore.
After fifteen minutes of walking, the city’s business district gave way to rundown restaurants and boarded up windows. The street became narrower, hemmed in on either side by parked cars. Scents turned from tantalizing to putrid. I didn’t pass anyone walking, although clusters of men, speaking Dutch, stood outside of a few bars.
We’re not tied to rules of the church; nor are we required to follow rules to earn God’s favor. That’s the gospel, the good news.
At night, back roads along Nova Scotia’s southern coast are treacherously dark and terrifyingly narrow, especially when fog rolls in off the ocean.
Everything turns inky black.
That’s how it was around 12 a.m. one spring night in 2015, as I sleepily persevered behind the steering wheel toward Murphy’s Camping on the Ocean. Months before, my girlfriend, Brianna, and I had booked the camping destination online while planning a roadtrip through New England and northeastern Canada. We’d only seen vague pictures of pitched tents, ocean water, and campers; we didn’t know what to expect.
The seeds of my obsession with traveling by bus were sown more than a decade ago in 2006, when I was 15, on a dirty tile floor in the heart of Pittsburgh, Pa. While on a cross country trip to Mo. with my Dad to see the oldest of my seven brothers, Peter, graduate Army Basic Training, we were snowed-in at the city’s Greyhound station for 28-hours. After the first day, the local Red Cross brought cots and distributed food vouchers. There weren’t enough cots, though, and I ended up sleeping on the floor instead, coat balled-up under my head, sweatshirt covering my face.
Thus, the pursuit of truth is the pursuit God, because at the end of every search for meaning and truth Jesus stands as the ultimate expression of both (Whether or not the seeker acknowledges his or her findings as such is a question investigated another time).
In light of that perspective, Jesus’ claim to Pilate suddenly becomes huge. And Pilate’s question takes on the same.
As evening sunlight fades, the charming city comes alive with twinkling lights, like those shining on the Smith College sign overlooking Main Street’s historic brick buildings. They also hang in strings above Pulaski Park, watching over couples strolling past, and old friends lounging at outdoor tables.
A single pinprick of light that overcame the darkness, which draws our gaze like a candle burning in darkness.