Slow Train

I wish I could pause time. Not stop mind you, but pause. If so, I would pause today, the last day of November. For tomorrow is December the 1st and the Christmas train, which has already been moving since Halloween, will increase its speed and intensity, barreling wily-nily, helter-skelter toward December the 25th.

Maybe pause is not the best word either. How about slow? I wish I could slow time.

But I have wished this before. And my wish was not granted. I have already seen A Charlie Brown Christmas and already attended a "dessert with Santa" at our elementary school. It's not December yet. Television executives and school administrators seem to know this same reality though. Best get your stuff done early, for it's a comin'.

I wish for a slow train.
A train that winds slowly through the canyon,
taking its time. The station's not going anywhere.
No worry. No rush. No mind.
Rest. Ride. Look. Listen.

Stand in the cold and stare at the lights.
Listen to the songs backdropped by the breathing of sleeping children.
Read the story again of shepherds, "slack-jawed" with wonder.
Stir the Chex-mix like momma did.

Drop the change in the red bucket by the man ringing the bell of mercy.
Smile at children lost in wonder-lust.
Wink at your girlfriend. Or boyfriend. Or whatever.

Walk the slow walk of a pregnant Mary. This holiest of seasons must be approached reverently, slowly.
"Folks who rush miss things."

The station will be there when we get there.


They look like spiders on the keyboard, big, fleshy spiders.
Tiny hairs grow from the folds of skin, alert to sight and sound.
Released from the corner of sleep, my hands begin to type.

Drowsily, they recall where all the letters live,
vowels and consonants, food for the day.
Spider-blood begins to flow; they are hungry.

As they consume, a silk is produced.
Strong threads of meaning, capable of life and death.
Spins of attraction from deep inside the belly.

The spiders remember their mandate.
"You don't bait what you love.
You tempt it, lure it, get under its skin."

Sometimes Grace is Cheap

"Each morning, even before he put the coffee on or began the biscuits, Albert would stand on the back porch and listen to the purling of the creek, the rush of water over stones. It was as if he needed to hear the creek, that sound of life ever on the move, running irresistibly downstream, before he could commit to another day of exhausting labor and the back of fortune's hand. I often thought that should the morning come when he could not walk down the stairs and hear the creek, he would die."

"They were firmly harnessed to the earth as it was and they took the land, its beauty and its blind treachery, a day at a time. Inconvenience and poverty were as much a part of their lives as hailstorms, tornadoes, bountiful harvests, drought, good trout, plump quail, plagues of insects, and deer moving up in the high country. They were satisfied. They never prayed for help, for a change in their luck, for anything, although I did hear Emerson ask the Great Mystery once to bless a No. 18 dry fly he had just tied on in hopes of tempting a huge rainbow trout that stalked the deep water of Karen's Pond."

-Harry Middleton, The Earth is Enough

If you have anyone on your Christmas list who loves a good story, then let me recommend Harry Middleton's grace-full book. A good friend gave me my copy back in August of '05; I probably re-read it once a year. I checked and you can find a used one on Amazon for pocket change. Consider that a gift from God.

One caveat though - this book has the potential to ruin you or the one you give it to, for the words might firmly harness you to the earth, causing you to wake each morning to the purling of the creek...for the earth is enough...

Nocturnal Emission

I awoke in the middle of the night to tears. Eye sockets and cheeks full of salty sorrow, come from some dream I'd been dreaming. I so wanted to recall the reason for crying, but I couldn't. I stilled myself, tried to step back into those last thoughts, but to no avail. The dream was gone. Grief visited me and all that remained was its residue.

I wonder...
if I wept for the husband who was sent home yesterday, probably not to return to his job today or tomorrow or ever.

if I wept for the wife of the husband who was sent home yesterday, desperately rubbing that verse from Romans like a rosary.

if I wept for the friend who writes from a true place but had her sensual words criticized recently by a couple of people more concerned about God's reputation than God is.

if I wept for the man who fixes refrigerators, who is recently divorced and now sees his precious son only "some of the time."

if I wept for the little girl afraid to go to sleep last night because the darkness was too dark.

if I wept for the man who feels little if anything these days except loneliness.

if I wept for the lady who wonders where the money will come from for Christmas gifts.

if I wept for the Israeli and Palestinian faces who know that one more conference is just a photo opportunity.

if I wept for the husbandless families who hear the phrase "happy holidays" and behind the patriotism cannot figure out how you could be happy when daddy got killed in Iraq.

if I wept because I heard that Christmas song just before falling asleep that talks of "peace on earth."

Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy, for we have had more than enough of contempt.

I cannot remember why the tears came, but they came. And so I begin this day with a face touched by the signature of grief. Maybe I wept for you...and me.


The air outside is bitterly cold. The morning sun is still hidden behind the clouds. The exhaust pipe on every car is leaving a trail of winter's breath. The light turns red, I obey, and you enter the crosswalk.

Your uniform reveals your destination. The Subway restaurant up the hill. Do you hate having to wear that uniform? You pull that excuse for a jacket close and lean into the cold. You do not run, but you do move with intent. Dear God, how long have you been walking in this cold?

You look to be all of seventeen. Then again, what do I know of age? It's possible that you've seen more in seventeen than I've seen in forty. But you've a girl's frame. Where are your hat and gloves?

You'll spend your day greeting customers with the same words: Welcome to Subway. What kind of sandwich can I make for you today? And then your gloved hands will handle bread and meat and cheese and vegetables and salt and pepper and cookies and a drink. Did anyone tell you goodbye when you left this morning?

When you were a little girl, did you dream of working at Subway when you reached all of seventeen? Or had your little girl dreams already been dismantled by life's harsh winds? Have you had years of practice walking in the cold, so that today's trek to work is "nothing, really"? Did you eat any breakfast?

You can see that big church when you look out the window as you're making sandwiches. Do you believe in that God they talk about? Do you ask Him for strength to come to work in the cold and grasp American and Swiss for one more day? Or is God just a three-letter word in your four-letter word life? Did anyone tell you they loved you this morning? Or last night?

You're heading up the hill now, getting ready to start your shift. As cold as it is, I bet you're sweating in that uniform. Is this job helping you get through school? helping you support a little one at home? or is it the extent of things right now? What would you do today if you could do anything? Or if you were given a microphone and your voice was broadcast to the world, what would you say? Would all you could think of be, Will that be dine-in or carry-out? Have your own words been gradually stripped away by all of seventeen?

My light turned green. I'm going to go now. But know this, Subway-girl. A long-haired friend of Jesus prayed for you today. I doubt you'll win the lottery this weekend, but you were "seen" today. How are you getting home? Please be careful. Look both ways in that crosswalk. I pray mercy for you as you sleep and new dreams to dream. And if you ever care to think about it, Jesus is a five-letter word. Will anyone be there when you get home?

Come Home, It's Suppertime

We were in Arkansas last week. All of our family, and I mean "all," lives back in the natural state. We saw my parents for a few days and then traveled up to my girlfriend's sister's place to finish up the week. They were good visits. But also hard visits.

I kept realizing how difficult it was for all of us to really listen to one another. Oh, we talked alot, but I'm not sure we "listened." Know what I mean? Nobody was at fault or to blame. No, I believe we all had/have so much going on in our lives that we were pre-occupied. There were already conversations going on within ourselves about ourselves, our lives, our jobs, our kids, our marriages, our health, our happiness, our grief, our future, and our past. And somtimes, it's hard to get in on a conversation that's already started. Know what I mean?

But there were moments of communion and they all revolved around food, both it's preparation and it's consumption. I watched (listened) as my daughter and my mom followed recipies together and found their hands in common ground - chocolate, rising flour, fruit and salad. All the other conversations had to be put on hold while attention (prayer) was given to measuring correctly, greasing where appropriate, and preheating like the book says. My daughter and my mom communed with one another in those moments; it was beautiful to see (hear).

I saw (heard) my girlfriend, her sister, and their mother all focused on what goes in the dressing. All other thoughts were on hold as celery, sage, cornbread, eggs, onions (I must stop there or I'll give away their secrets) were chopped, grated, torn asunder, and lightly beaten. They moved around one another in a kind of dance - the kitchen shuffle. Communion. Being with one another. Maybe as close as possible for right now.

I was given the honors of cutting the bird for one table. Norman Rockwell would not have chosen me as his carving model. I set that pressure aside and stripped the bird, quickly abandoning the knife in favor of the hands. And for a few moments, I was stilled and quiet, pulling away the meat to put on a platter so family could come by and pile their plates with it. My girls like white meat, my dad wants the legs, and me, yeah, nothing like dark meat. The renegade priest handing out the "bread" of communion - "this turkey, broken for you." Amen.

Some folks say we are a people obsessed with food. Maybe. I say that somedays, we're crying out for communion with one another. We love each other so much it hurts, it really does, but we don't know how to approach one another; there are so many conversations already going on. And so, when we can, we wash our hands and don our aprons and crack open the good books and de-lid the cans of broth and step into the grace and wisdom of a child's prayer:

God is great, God is good.
Let us thank Him for this food.

Know what I mean?

After the turkey...

My Thanksgiving read was The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd. I'd heard about this book over the years and even read a book proposal not long ago that blasted the book to smithereens. Published in 1996, it's kinda been the under-the-radar-book for Kidd, overshadowed by The Mermaid's Chair and The Secret Life of Bees.

The subtitle for the book is "A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine." That's enough for some folks right there - "the Sacred Feminine." The book proposal I read not long ago was hopped up on fear of that phrase and also the word "goddess" - a word Kidd uses throughout her book. It's fair. Language has immense power and those words and phrases should not be approached casually. Kidd writes about her awakening to the prevalent patriarchy in our time, seen in such areas as her church, her marriage, and even herself. That's enough for some folks right there - "patriarchy." Then she continues her journey into Christian Feminism, complete with phases of the moon, Sophia, resacralizing the earth and the body, and C.G. Jung. And that pretty much nails the coffin shut for some folks. That's fair; fair, but unfortunate.

It's unfortunate because I found the book a very refreshing read. It is the story about a woman taking the courageous steps toward living an authentic life. It was told with patience; her journey did not occur overnight and neither can the telling of her story. It is very much a story about women. I'm glad I read it for the ways it has caused me to "see" my wife and daughters. I'm also glad I read it for the ways in which I hope to be able to relate those truths to my son. But I'm most glad, a.k.a., gladdest, that I read it for myself, for below the female surface of this book lies truth applicable to anyone seeking to live an authentic life.

Here's a couple of keepers:
**"If you write to please others or write for success or stardom or money, you're writing out of your ego. When are you going to write out of your Self?"

**"The transformation of anger is a movement from rage to outrage. Rage implies an internalized emotion, a tempest within. Rage, or what might be called untransfigured anger, can become a calcified bitterness. What rage wants and needs is to move outward toward positive social purpose, to become a creative force or energy that changes the conditions that created it. It needs to become out-rage. Outrage is love's wild and unacknowledged sister."

I didn't swallow everything Kidd wrote. It's a story about her journey. But I do believe it's also a story about our journey and that's why the book works. I believe the strutures she speaks of as keeping women in a prison are actually structures that keep human beings in prison, male or female. Dissident daughters must dance and sons must press into their difficult splendor. But the words "dissident" and "difficult"? That's enough for some folks right there.

Lady in a Hurry

The abrupt halt at the stop sign out-ed her tardiness.
She speedily pulled in behind me as our two cars became one.

The rearview mirror revealed things closer than they are:
a steering-wheel-thumping sermon against the evils of slow.

A passing lane ahead was fodder for her petition,
but God or fate or just heavy other-directioned traffic said no.

The rearview mirror revealed things as they should not be:
a small child in the passenger seat, mannequin still.

Me and my shadow finally reached the vast sea of four lanes.
She huffed and puffed and wolf-ed past me, free at last, free at last.

The front windshield revealed things farther than they should be:
lady in a hurry, grasping for the hem of the day.


like a moth you eat away all that is dear to us - Psalm 39.12, Book of Common Prayer

I've heard God described in simile all my life, but I cannot remember anyone ever preaching or teaching that God is like a moth. This verse saw me the other morning in my daily readings. And I saw it.

It's kind of a strange image, isn't it? The God of the universe slowly, methodically nibbling away all that is dear to us. And to top it off, the psalmist didn't say "all that is sinful in our lives" or "all that has eyes but don't see, ears but don't hear" - no, he said "all that is dear to us.

The Usual

The door of the Shame blows open and there he stands,
covered in skins and snow and sweat.
"The usual," he cries and steps across the threshold
into the warmth of family and friends.
He is greeted with hugs and smiles and tears,
such is the love for his face.
He immediately unshoulders his pack,
like some feral St. Nick on that blessed night.
A hearty laugh and the wink of a boy.
Gifts are handed to each one by name;
a book with gilded edges, a stone from sacred ground, the statue of a squirrel, a cross from the town of magic.
The gifts are as much "the usual" as his drink of choice
for his travels are always taken with others in mind.
He is the pilgrim and his steps carry him far away,
farther than he'd thought or planned.
The courage for his journeys comes from the deeps of affection;
love is the light in the window, his pole star of orientation.
"Sit, rest my good friend.
Speak the words of the path to us we are anxious to hear."
We revel in the lush of tales, but they naturally come to an end.
He rises, dons the skins once more, shoulders his pack, and moves to the door.
A boy's grin. "The words are calling me and I must go. Namaste."
A boy's tears. "We know. Just remember the love."
His life is oblation. Always.
"The usual."

-for Rich on the day after his birthday - "Namaste, good pilgrim."

Liturgy from the couch

Bill Moyers' Journal this week featured an interview with Thomas Cahill. It was absolutely marvelous. They discussed his latest project, a book about capital punishment, as well as covering some of his prior books and other insights into history. At one point, Moyers asked him, What is the evil that you see in the world? After all of your time spent studying and researching history - what is our problem?

Cahill responded, Cruelty to one another.

He talked about it in regard to the nation state, but also spoke about it as it plays out in religion. And it may be most dastardly there. The ways in which we (and I say "we" because I have done this and will do this) extend cruelty to others because of differences in thought and belief and practice. Cahill said the crusading spirit is alive and well.

Moyers asked, What can we do? How can change come about?

Cahill answered, It comes about in the individual. It begins when I change.


Cahill finished up the interview by recalling a story. He was speaking at a large gatheirng and a man stood up and asked, "Do you believe, like St. Paul, that we come to Christ by faith alone." Cahill responded, "I believe, like St. Paul, that we come by faith, hope and love. And that the greatest of these is love."

The man stormed out, evidently not hearing the answer he wanted or needed. Or at least not hearing it articulated in the way he was accustomed to.


I'm sitting here typing at the feet of my youngest daughter. She woke up sick this a.m. and my girlfriend has responsibilities at church, so the caretaker role fell to me. I've no problem with that. This five year old kindergartener, still so fresh from God, is growing up in this world where we are cruel to one another. She has already experienced this. Harsh words from me (this dad she says she loves so much) and words or actions from friends that have "hurt her feelings." She rebounds each time but I'm always aware of how, for the moment at least, she reels from such cruelty. It totally disorients her; it's like for a time, she doesn't know where she is or what to do.


For the first time we saw he wanted one leg. It was gone from the knee joint down. He was hopping sideways to reach for his stick in the corner when he lost his balance. He would have fallen in a heap if Brendan hadn't leapt forward and caught him.
"I'm as crippled as the dark world," Gildas said.
"If it comes to that, which one of us isn't, my dear?" Brendan said.
Gildas with but one leg. Brendan sure he'd misspent his whole life entirely. Me that had left my wife to follow him and buried our only boy. The truth of what Brendan said stopped all our mouths. We was cripples all of us. For a moment or two there was no sound but the bees.
"To lend each other a hand when we're falling," Brendan said. "Perhaps that's the only work that matters in the end."
-Frederick Buechner, Brendan


I believe, like St. Brendan, that it's hard to lend a hand when we're always storming out of a room.

Praise Chorus

"The world is full of suffering indeed, and to turn our backs on it is to work a terrible unkindness maybe almost more on ourselves than on the world. But life indeed is also to be enjoyed. I suspect that may even be the whole point of it. I more than suspect that is why all the sons of God shouted for joy when he first brought it into being. And if that is the case, then the old woman playing shuffleboard in the sun and the young man standing in line with his children to get into Disney World are in their own ways praising God as truly as when they are serving supper in a shelter for the homeless or driving off at two thirty in the morning to answer the panicky phone call of an alcoholic friend."
- Frederick Buechner, Telling Secrets

Leave it to F. Buechner to drop a few lines like that near the very end of a very small book. If some of his words are the case, and I suspect they may be, then God is praised in many and varied ways, eh?

The young husband standing at the finish line when his young wife finishes her first marathon is praising God.

The boy running an in open field with his dog flushing birds is praising God.

The middle aged woman sitting in the chair receiving a pedicure is praising God.

The mother who will spend hours in the kitchen preparing a Thanksgiving feast is praising God.

The sisters swinging ever higher and higher on the school playground are praising God.

The crossing guard who valiantly ushers the children across a dangerous intersection is praising God.

The young woman finishing her first marathon, the dog flushing birds in an open field, the lady administering a pedicure as well as conversation to a middle aged woman, the family that will gather around a table and hold hands and say grace, the father watching his girls swing ever higher and higher, the children laughing and carrying backpacks on their way to school - they are all praising God.

God, forgive me for holding to a definition of praise that is too narrow, one that only works in a building somewhere and only if certain words are said. If I would just be still and know, the very rocks are crying out.

The Work of Courage

Talked to a friend the other night who was there on Sunday morning, when I preached. She made some affirming comments about the message and how she and her husband had been discussing it. Then she said something that I've never heard regarding one of my sermons: That's the first time I've heard that passage preached and not walked away feeling shame. I probably said something goofy, like "wow," and then the conversation continued and moved into other topics.

But I've been thinking about that statement. That's the first time I've heard that passage preached and not walked away feeling shame. Wow, indeed.

Someone might quickly reply, "Well, maybe those other times the truth of the Word pierced her and she realized how far short she has fallen and she felt shame about that. You watered it down or stripped it of its power to the point there was no conviction. You did a 'feel good' and she felt good." Well, maybe. But maybe not. That's a quick and easy reply or reaction, but not a response.

She didn't say she felt "good." She said she didn't feel "shame." That's two entirely different things.

Now I don't know all that was going on in my friend's life that day, all the thoughts or feelings she had during that message. I don't; only she does. But in all that was going on that day, I had the opportunity to speak into her life, and the words that came out did not elicit shame. I am grateful for that in a way that's difficult for me to type.

I was listening to Dave Matthews' song Grey Street yesterday. I sure wish somebody'd sing that at our church; I really do. There's this incredibly poignant verse that says:
There's a stranger speaks outside her door
Says take what you can from your dreams
Make them as real as anything
It'd take the work out of the courage

That last line totally shook me.

The stranger outside our door speaks words to shame us. Dear God how that's true. And if we're not extremely care-ful, we'll adopt those "stranger" words and pass them along to those around us, those we love and care for, those we work with, those we preach to. To NOT do that takes the work of courage. To work at listening to our words and weighing them before we speak or type. Not in some crazed, internal editor way; that's the path of shame. But in an intentional way that extends grace and mercy to all paths we cross. The goal is not to make everyone feel good, mind you. But to not make them feel shame. And that's two entirely different things.

The Message

The old Dirty Shamer got the chance to preach yesterday. Here's the gist.

Matthew 25.14ff tells the parable of the land owner who went away on a journey, but before he did, he gave out talents to his servants. One got 5, another got 2 and the last servant got 1. The owner goes away and while he's gone, the 5 and 2 talent servants both double their stuff. The Bible doesn't say stuff, but you get what I mean. The 1 talent servant gets scared and hides his in the ground; at least he can give back what he got. The owner returns and the first two servants get "well dones" and high fives all-around. The 1 talent servant gets raked over the coals, with the owner saying, "At least you could have put my stuff in the bank where it would have drawn interest."

I asked folks yesterday to wonder with me a little: wonder if those three servants are all the same person? What if there was just one servant and the description of talents and amounts refers to days or weeks or seasons of his life? Yes, that's not what the text says, but what if you played with the parable in that way?

If you can wonder in that way, then you come up with a guy waking up some days and they are 5 talent days. Everything he touches turns gold, opportunities open up like flowers looking for rain, the sun is shining so bright he has to wear shades, and before he closes his eyes that night, the thought is "well done." Then one day, he wakes up and it's a 2 talent day. It's still a day full of engaging experiences, relationships are enhanced, and benefits abound; however, that day or week or season of his life is just a little cloudy, not quite so sunny. Before going to bed that night or week, "well done" still fits the bill.

But along comes a day when the guy wakes up and its a 1 talent day. It doesn't feel anything like the 5 or 2 talent days. In fact, this day or month or year feels like an absolute bust. He doesn't even want to get out of bed or go to work or interact with his kids or call his parents on Saturday nights. The only thing he wants to do is hide. Because everybody knows that 5 or 2 is good, but 1 is, well, not good.

Have you ever had that experience? On those 1 talent days, we don't feel like we have anything to offer, nothing to bring to the table, and the best thing for everyone involved would be for us to hole up in the back room. I wonder if this parable might be encouraging us on those 1 talent days to not bury our stuff in the ground? To go ahead and step into life, even if we feel afraid and alone, and bring our 1 talent or our two mites (getting biblical on you here) and stay in the game? And if we'll at least do that much, those days may bring more "interest" than the 5 or 2 talent days because we're putting all our eggs in the basket of God's grace and mercy?

Barbara Brown Taylor's Leaving Church talks about the solar calendar of the soul that most of us try and abide by and that most christians and churches hold as the norm: we ought to be operating at the 5 talent level. That's where the godliest folks exist. But she found that the soul operates on a lunar calendar, more waxing and waning that constant brightness. That there are 5 talent days and 2 talent days and 1 talent days and we need to be mindful and respectful of those rhythms in our lives, for what doth it profit a man or woman if they're always doubling their stuff but losing their soul in the process?

Not sure anyone got saved yesterday, but maybe somebody woke up. I'll take that.

That Point

"I once wrote in a poem about reaching the point in life when I would have the courage to admit my life. There were some rough spots, as you probably sensed reading the memoir, especially in my early married years, when I simply had no idea what I was doing or how to support myself. During that most difficult period of 10 years, our house payment was $99 a month, but quite often that was hard to muster."
- Jim Harrison, poet and fiction writer

The memoir that Harrison refers to is titled Off To One Side, as in "not a man of the center" (see last post). I respect Harrison's body of work. I also like the fact that he started out to be a Baptist minister. I kid you not.

I love what he says about reaching that point in life where you have the courage to admit your life. Not the life you wished you'd had or someone else's life, but your own. And that's what I was trying to get at in my last post. I'm trying to find the courage to admit my life. And I appreciate others who are trying to do the same thing. We're not working on our best life now, but our only life now. And there is a world of difference between the two. Just compare some pictures of Jim Harrison and Joel Osteen. You can google those names and pull up some images. I'm not talking about comparing their messages or religion or anything like that; just look at them. One is blind in one eye, gap-toothed and usually outside surrounded by dogs. The other has coiffed hair and wonderful teeth and is usually on a stage somewhere. Oh, John, you're just jealous of Osteen's wealth. Harrison is every bit as wealthy as Osteen. It's Harrison's life that draws me; his "courage to admit."

There were and are "some rough spots." There were and are years "when I simply had no idea what I was doing or how to support myself." There were and are "difficult periods" when it is "hard to muster." And it takes courage to admit that. But I'm reaching that point in life.

Thoughts Before Dreaming

"There is an edge and we all must feel that edge or we will die. We may keep on eating and sleeping and voting and shopping but we will surely die if we do not feel that edge and admit its existence. I know I must. But we must respect that edge or we do not deserve to live. To topple off it and into the void is to become monsters...So we must seek the edge but respect it. I am not a man of the center. I am from somewhere else."
- Charles Bowden, Blues For Cannibals

"I am not a man of the center. I am from somewhere else." I can remember reading those words for the first time, probably close to ten years ago now, and thinking yes. It's not that I don't want to be a man of the center, it's that I can't. It's not who God planted in my mother's womb. I am from somewhere else, somewhere other than "center."

But it's not a death-wish, mind you - that's thrill-seeking, the folly of youth; the belief that the rush is what it's all about. No, this is not about seeking the thrill, but seeking the edge. The real, tangible edge, whether of faith or love or work. This is seeking the edge but respecting it at the same time, for as Bowden says, "To topple off it and into the void is to become monsters." I do not wish to be a monster. But I am not a man of the center. And in the learning of myself, I can look back and see times of stress or moments of conflict when someone or something was trying to get me in the center and I just couldn't do it; it was like David trying to wear Saul's armor. I couldn't move, couldn't breathe, couldn't get around on all twos.

My wife is not a woman of the center. My best friends are not men of the center. The authors I read do not write from the center. They are all of them from somewhere else. And I love that. Seeking the edge but respecting it. If we don't respect it, feel it, or at least admit its existence, then we don't deserve to live.

I'm about to lay me down to sleep. My dreams are never center-dreams. I dream from somewhere else.