My Firmest Faith

I read on line last month, with some alarm, of the rapidly depleting Ogallala Aquifer–a vast reservoir deposited beneath the Midwest prairie five to 10 million years ago as runoff from the Rocky Mountains. It had slept all that time untapped until 150 or so years ago. And now, apparently, it’s on the verge of […]

I Hope He Stays There

I can’t not write about the murder of Cecil, the 13-year-old famously black-maned lion lured out of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park and shot by an American hunter, Dr. Walter James Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota. Yes–I meant murder. The shooting was the final act in this grisly drama, after Palmer first shot Cecil with a […]

Our Own Legerdemain

They say practice makes perfect. This isn’t necessarily so. In all my years as a practicing Catholic I was never a perfect one, and am now in a lapse that has lasted 35 years. To be clear, I’m not even a Christian anymore. But neither are those who ascribe natural or man-made phenomena to the […]

Music to My Ears

Frustratingly, I remain the worst musician in the history of sound. Practice, which is supposed to make for Perfect, in my case only gives rise to noise. But what’s worse than maladroit fingering is my memory. It does not linger. I resume with my favorite guitar, a semi-hollow custom dual split-coil Telecaster, and can almost […]

Not Playing With A Full Deck

I’m writing this on my birthday–the 52nd–and it feels the most portentous yet. Twenty-one bounced off, for instance, and turning 40 was meaningless. It is not that I dread a beckoning mortality, or even feel–in fact–that it is approaching. As I have said before, there have been days when death has seemed the attractive option. Neither is it the […]

Not A Shot In The Dark

I am more than perturbed by the fact that vaccinations–which in my childhood were not only free, but compulsory, and conveniently administered at school–are now something of a political hot potato, particularly for those on the right. Don’t get me wrong. There are liberal enclaves where the vaccination rates are not as high as they […]