Navigating Religious Differences: An Agnostic Visits Christian Family

I grew up in a religious community that fanatically converted neighbors, friends, and relatives. A Sunday wouldn’t go by without a reminder to pick up extra copies of The Book of Mormon and hand them out when God so moved us. But the world grows thick with difference, and to cull the diversity through conversionContinue reading “Navigating Religious Differences: An Agnostic Visits Christian Family”

Trust the Not-Knowing

Because sometimes the honest place is the empty place. The place of uncertainty. I’ve been talking a lot with my brother lately–this skinny white guy from a West Coast suburb who now works as an engineer on the East Coast. We’ve been talking about privilege, race, gender, social class, and orientation. I love my brother. AndContinue reading “Trust the Not-Knowing”

Responsible Fiction: Toe to Toe with Difference

Writers have to get outside their own skin. But sometimes I get overeager to inhabit differences. And I write about characters I have no chance of understanding. So I just finished revisions on a short story about an Ethiopian immigrant who runs into his past. At the grocery store, he comes across a woman who witnessed anContinue reading “Responsible Fiction: Toe to Toe with Difference”

Happiness

I remember the optimism of going home to someone. And how, months after the divorce, a part of me still lived back there on Roy Street. Waking to the sunrise in my attic room and thinking it was really from the second-story bay window there. How grief and change can displace one like that. AndContinue reading “Happiness”