Roman Holiday IV: Rain or Shine

  Having just returned home from an eight-day excursion to Florence, Rome and Venice with the Class of 2014, I have plenty of tales to tell. Rather than try to combine them all into a massive novel-blog, which would test both your perseverance and my creativity, I’ll be posting anecdotes at intervals, saving them for rainy…

Faithful To The Fields

…What we owe the future    is not a new start, for we can only begin    with what has happened. We owe the future    the past, the long knowledge that is the potency of time to come. That makes of a man’s grave a rich furrow. The community of knowing in common is the seed    of…

Summer Places

  We’ve barely dropped our bags when he starts heading down the hill, away from the well-marked buildings of Mount Hermon Christian Camp and Conference Center, into a maze of boxy cabins balanced on a steep and shady hillside. After just a few minutes of following, my mother, cousins and I stop behind my father,…

Airports

Starbucks vanilla lattes taste the same, everywhere and always. With one sip of sweet, hot, vaguely coffee-flavored milk, I could be fourteen and trying coffee for the first time, or twenty and drinking my first latte of my shift at 5:30 AM as the sun rises. It doesn’t matter that ten years have passed, or…

Home is Wherever I’m With You

Brother Tom nodded understandingly. “It’s the memories, the old loyalties; they are so precious,” he said. “Things that meant so much, that stay present in the wood and stone of a place. If you let go of the place and the things that belong to it, you feel afraid that you’ll lose hold of the…

Winter Warmth

 And in the humid ever-summer I dare his picturing mind not to go back to the shout of color, to the clean rasp of frosty air, to the smell of pine wood burning and the caressing warmth of kitchens. For how can one know color in perpetual green, and what good is warmth without cold…

Things (And Mostly People) That Made Life Better This Year: 2012 Edition

Black Forest Academy–this ever-changing community of staff and students that flow in and out of this little valley on the edge of the dark hills–is a place of tradition. Do something once, whether it’s dumping someone in a pond on their birthday or granting crazy Christmas wishes, and it’s likely that you’ll be asked to…

There Are No Lakes Till Eternity

We are not permitted to linger, even with what is most intimate. From images that are full, the spirit plunges on to others that suddenly must be filled; there are no lakes till eternity. Here, falling is best. To fall from the mastered emotion into the guessed-at, and onward. Rainer Maria Rilke, from “To Hölderlin” We…

Open Letter to an Allied Soldier

The following is a letter I wrote on the bus from Normandy to Paris during our recent Junior Class Trip to France. It was a weekend of many adventures–from camping under the stars and then the rain, to an eleven-hour whirlwind tour of Paris–but in light of the trip’s overall purpose, I’ve decided to save…

Reading Every Word

“There is much beauty here, because there is much beauty everywhere…” Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet There’s a moment in the first installment of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, when Sam pauses at the edge of a field full of sunflowers, a few steps behind his hobbit companion, Frodo. “If I take…