Our Fall (A Photo Scavenger Hunt)


after a long journey of out-of-focus horizons playing trick-or-treat with our eyes,

at the end of that rocky path to discovering the tools to harvest things bigger than our own selfish crops,

we look back and discover that the tottered, once-bright detour signs we followed were intended to be our way from the beginning.  

We have harvested our souls.  
The treat was in the trick.  
What a delicious trick.  


The Responsibility Of A Christian

To blend all of a hospital’s blood, vomit, and tears into masterpiece murals. 

To conduct a city’s sirens, car horns, and coins tossed into tin cans as orchestra.  

To collect a culture’s foulest, most offensive words and spell them 

And you thought it was all doe-eyed Jesus portraits, praise choruses, and “s-a-v-e-d.” 


Newspaper Word Cut-outs (Part 2)


I didn’t have a seventh-grade sweetheart, nor did I ever receive or send a circle-yes-or-no love note.  “Dark Blue” wasn’t the song I said I’d remember--it was “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap.  I don’t know what type of cigarettes Bethany was smoking, and besides, she didn’t light up inside the car.  

The sky wasn’t dark blue, it was black.  We’re all too old to be innocent.

Last night I went to bed clothed and woke up naked, and I remember nothing in between (except for half-waking around 6:00 and suspecting that my clothes were gone.)  

Well.  I wasn’t completed undressed... I was wearing underwear and socks.  

But I felt naked.  The majority of my body was naked.  The memory is naked and the term “naked” is general enough to allow for a couple little inconsistencies, a couple little socks.

Truth: The moon made a halo in the clouds.  

We did listen to Dark Blue at some point that night, and Bethany did smoke--just not in the car.  But... my memory was in the car.  The frozen moment of youth was in the car.  The sudden, unexpected nakedness was in the car.  

Our memories always wear underwear and socks.   

Truth: I went to bed clothed, woke up naked, and I can’t find my sweatpants anywhere.        


We Were Boxing The Stars (Part 1)

Last Wednesday night at two thirty in the morning the four of us drove home from dancing.  Our ears were ringing from the the pounding music and the swirling of the heat made us drowsy.  Julie dozed with her head on the backseat headrest and I rested my forehead on the window, staring at the crescent moon that made a halo on the clouds.  Heidi drove in silence, flipping off her brights when we passed a stray car.  Bethany sucked on a Marlboro and sang along with Jack’s Mannequin.  

I told them all, “For the rest of my life, every time I hear this song I’ll think of this moment.”     

Four girls in a car at two thirty in the morning.  Just us and the moon.  Just us, the moon, and the road.  Going home to sleep.  

But I’ll keep the moment in a shoebox under my bed, like the circle-yes-or-no love note from a seventh-grade sweetheart.  Because you don’t throw away innocence.    

“This night’s a perfect shade of dark blue.” 


Today I Like Purple

Red for the city (Chicago is burgundy), blue for staying here, yellow for depending on other people, white for I’ll-do-it-myself-thanks.  Green makes marriage and babies.  Orange makes home-sick.  Pink makes freedom or lots of mistakes, depending on the lighting.  Purple... can’t exist.    

So many shades.  So many rainbow promises.  So much beauty, if you blend it all together right. 

And everyone thinks they're a damn art critic. 


Here's To Feeling Fragile

An “it’ll be ok” promise is all it would take, or maybe an “I believe in you.”  I could send up an eyes-closed-knees-bent bedtime prayer or just listen, listen, listen to you talk, vent, purge.  These are the things for you, and I’ll do them all.  

But I’ll give it more:

The kind of comfort that comes from a twin bed cradling two, from a hug that turns into a hold.  The peace of a let's-be-lazy afternoon or the relief of “we’ll escape this all soon.”  The things that are secretly for me, too.  


One Of Those Days, You Know The Ones

One of those days where there’s just no reaching glory. No music is loud enough to rattle your bones. No speed is fast enough to chap your skin. No oxygen is dense enough to quite fill every part of you.

One of those days where if you were an explorer you would be repelling into volcanic craters to discover new species. If you were a surgeon you would be saving lives and pulling forty-eight hour shifts because that’s just what has to be done. If you were a cop you would be kicking down doors and swinging guns at bad guys and maybe taking a bullet for your partner.




People dying and living, but only one or the other -- nothing in between.

One of those days that doesn’t leave you breathless, doesn’t leave you wanting more. It just leaves you.


What Heaven Might Be Like

A little bit like this, but stronger. A fragrant B flat chord, a dandelion tasting like “I love you.” Red feeling smoother than before and vibrato growing much taller. A little bit of everything working as one. Some heightened humanity. A pinch of art, a dash of hallelujah, and all of it coming together to be very, very good.