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Personality Tests, Community, & Our Nagging Loneliness

Ironically, by searching for the self, we also lose ourselves. The more intently we look within, the more elusive our sense of self becomes.

Independent Interdependence: A Mark of Successful Communities

Clay County, MO. At first blush, independent interdependence may seem an oxymoron. Yet people exercise a kind of balance...

The Local Barber

I recently visited a barber in my Virginian hometown whom I had not patronized in more than a year (I’d taken to...

What Makes Art Beautiful?

The failure to distinguish between art and beauty has caused much confusion. Art and beauty have two different but overlapping trajectories–one towards union and the other towards transcendent reality.

Community and Intuition

Do not seek things too difficult for you, nor examine what is beyond your strength.Think about what is commanded you, for you...

Mr. Jones and Me

Place was also indispensable to our friendship whether we realized it or not. For all our determination to be malcontents, we did secretly love our home.

Blessed Are the Working Poor

I am in love with my neighborhood because I am in love with the people, how resilient and complicated they are, and how they teach me how wrong I have been about the world. They have proven to me what Jesus said in his most famous sermon, the one on the mount: “blessed are the poor in spirit, for they shall see God.”

A Case for Shame

In Canto XXX of the Inferno, Dante becomes fascinated with an argument between Sinon the Greek and Master Adamo, both of them...

The Porch in Practice

In the past two years my life has changed drastically. I was laid off from one job, then let go from another....

Rock the Block

It is a cloudless July day in Connecticut—the kind of day that keeps people rooted in this place despite its long winters...