November 2016

The Handy (for us) and Unexamined Way Colonial America invented Racism

Father Jacques Marquette.

I’m reading “American Colonies” by Alan Taylor. He teaches history at the University of Virginia; he has written many books, including “The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia: 1772-1832”, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2014. His books are scholarly, clear, and amazing.
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Reading Lately - Little known Colonial era population stats

I’m reading “American Colonies” by Alan Taylor. He teaches history at the University of Virginia has written many books. He won a Pulitzer Prize two years ago. His books are scholarly and clear.

This is from Taylor’s Introduction. He is laying the groundwork for the thesis of his book; that our understanding of our American story is limited and has lent itself to false, misleading, and sentimental understandings of who we are and how we got here.

Susan Notices the World 11/18/16

Yup, this is Susan. Sometimes she watches so hard that the world turns into fireworks.

My niece Susan is a quiet person who notices things that many people don't. She's been like this since she was a baby. The first time I met her (when she was an infant in a blanket) she wasn't crying, she was looking at things. I remember meeting her a year later; while I wasn't watching (we lived 700 miles from each other at that time) she had become a quiet toddler in tiny pink sneakers. She peeked around her parents legs to stare up at me like a small owl. I smiled at her, her blue eyes lit up and she smiled back just a little shy bit.

Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants

Would you like to meet and encourage arrested and incarcerated undocumented immigrants? Consider Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants.

It’s been a week since Trump won the United States’ Presidency. I have been in many conversations, and I bet you have, too, where people are confused, grieving, sad and furious.
People are reading, talking, and deciding what to do next. There are so many vulnerable people to defend in the coming months.

Rites of Passage / Old Column

pine trees

My daughter is going to have a baby soon. This past weekend I went to a beautiful baby shower hosted by friends of my daughter, her husband, and his parents. Driving back home I thought about this column I wrote in 2003.

Last week, late one afternoon and for no particularly pressing reason, I started stripping and refinishing my kitchen windows. And then, well, I decided to repaint the kitchen.
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First published: August 23, 2003