Category Archives: Travelogue

A Visit to Steelmantown Cemetery

I don’t remember ever needing or wanting a burial spot, though I do remember thinking about it from an early age. When one looks at my family, there are many ways to respond to the dead human body and the … Continue reading

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Walking City Sidewalks as Acts of Democracy

Not all that long ago I was reading (= listening while driving) to Parker Palmer’s Healing the Heart of Democracy. In it he offered up a solution to the loss of mutual connection that undermines the democratic essence of our … Continue reading

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Leaving Familiar, Learning to Love New Places

I’m pretty sure no one calls New Jersey a wilderness, but given that it will be new to me, given that it will be my personal next Unknown, at least for awhile, this piece of wisdom from beloved Wendell Berry … Continue reading

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Tainted: Not the Grand Transition We Would Hope

This Sunday is a landmark election in Myanmar: described as the first democratic transition in that nation in over half a century. If it happens as the world hopes. It’s easy to be cynical.  There have been elections in Myanmar, … Continue reading

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Prayer for Children Reclaiming Structures Meant for Climbing

This is a summer scene along the Harborway in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It both delights (the children) and infuriates (the sign) me. My companion and I debated what we thought it might be. It turns out that it is called … Continue reading

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From Halifax to Havana and Back Again

Four years ago, to the day, my newlywed (like, two days previously) partner and I arrived in Havana, Cuba for our honeymoon, endearingly dubbed “Commie-moon” by a friend. It was what I call a “soft adventure:” it was still illegal … Continue reading

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What is the Hokey Pokey All About?

When I was a social worker/home visitor and got paid for playing with toddlers, I worked in a community that was predominantly Spanish-speaking.  This means that I learned a couple of songs in Spanish that are typically sung in Puerto … Continue reading

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Abundance Scooped from Abundance: Reflections on Myanmar

homily delivered today at First Parish Church of Groton There is a line from an Anne Sexton poem. I have used it here and nearly everywhere I have been given the chance: Abundance scooped from abundance, yet abundance remains. Surely, … Continue reading

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A Nation Being Rebuilt: My Fortnight in Myanmar (poem)

To find the lost, To heal the broken, To feed the hungry, To release the prisoner, To rebuild the nations, To bring peace among brothers, To make music in the heart. (The Work of Christmas, Howard Thurman) The tongue so … Continue reading

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Burma Reds (poem)

Bricks from the 9th century onward, the shape of pagodas and temples throughout the whole of ancient Bagan. Modern bricks, careful rectangular stacks surpassing my own height, on display before every third or eighth roadside establishment. Or in piles, waiting … Continue reading

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