Culture, High & Low

Imagining Healthy Work: Why We all Have to Become Monks

Fra_Angelico_031 March 10, 2014

This essay was originally presented at Spring Arbor University’s annual Focus series.
I am speaking today not as a literature specialist, nor as a professional economist, nor as a business expert, but simply as a human.  So in talking about

Read the full article →

Goodness, Like a Fetter

image_preview March 5, 2014

Son of a . . . What the . . . Holy . . . !

Read the full article →

They Been Here

7163603015_93b07d42ac March 3, 2014

“You don’t say that,” my grandfather was telling me, gently but with obvious annoyance, as I’d just embarrassed him. We were walking out of a small store on a country road outside our home in western Massachusetts, which (the store)…

Read the full article →

Of Tiles and Lights and Projectile Vomit

tile_Bench_Shower February 26, 2014

The eyes roll.

Read the full article →

The Patron Saint of Place

starbucks February 24, 2014

For several decades now, the business plan of fast-food chains has been to build restaurants with a similar design: a drive through around the back and side, an indoor playground in front, parking spaces surrounding, a counter to order food…

Read the full article →

Now is the Summer of Our Discontent

Winter-Background-Pictures-167 February 19, 2014

Where’s my wanton ambling nymph?

Read the full article →

What I Saw at the High School Speech Meet

little tree ee February 10, 2014

Here in northwest Indiana, I agreed to be a judge for a recent regional speech meet, partly because our middle daughter was a contestant herself and partly because I love all sorts of spoken word events—debates, extemporaneous speeches, poetry, even…

Read the full article →

Unrepatriation Ain’t Easy Either

ICM107B February 5, 2014

Ignorant posteriority has its price in the enterprise of repatriation.

Read the full article →

A Man’s Home Is His Castle

castle 2 February 3, 2014

Hidden Springs Lane. After too long, I finally got around to watching The Castle… (1997), a film recommended by FPR’s Jeff Polet. It’s a film you probably haven’t heard of let alone seen. It’s an Australian comedy that tells the

Read the full article →

What Happened with the Prick Realtor

sold-sign January 29, 2014

The indignities mount.

Read the full article →

Sometimes a Garden is Just a Garden

old-garden-wheelbarrow-1433783-m January 23, 2014

To the left of our Southern California driveway is a little plot of land, 400-500 square feet. Some homeowners just pave over a space like this, to add another parking spot, or a place for a basketball hoop and room…

Read the full article →

Slow Growth and Living Form

Jean-Baptiste-Camille_Corot_-_Como_and_Lake_Como January 21, 2014

Everything seeks its own perfection or completion, and, moreover, seeks this perfection in a way proper to itself. Since both the end sought and the way of seeking are attuned to the thing’s nature, actions can violate a thing’s integrity…

Read the full article →

In Praise of Mediocrity

200px-Viktor_Hartman January 20, 2014

Berwyn, PA.… Everyone knows G.K. Chesterton’s aphorism that, if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.  Dappled Things writer Karen Ullo has deepened our understanding of that truth in a new personal essay, where she reflects on the inevitably

Read the full article →

And What Happened After the Codeine Kicked In

moving-truck January 15, 2014

I’m in one of those ridiculous backless hospital gowns.

Read the full article →

Citizens, Traitors, Misanthropes, and Cosmopolitans

January 14, 2014

What is it about the modern world that causes us to forget that every choice comes with a cost?  The answer cannot be that modern men obsess on wish-fulfillment; ancient men had wishes too and obsessed with creating gold out…

Read the full article →

What Happened Before the Codeine Kicked In

ankle-screws_09_16_11 January 8, 2014

If it were my ankle, we’d operate.

Read the full article →