Reflections on Discussion About the Charleston, SC Shooting

I’ve been reflecting on the tragedy that struck Emanual African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina the evening of June 17th. I’ve been silent in my reflection. What is there to say, now? Nothing can be done to lessen the heartache of the friends, family, neighbors of those nine people. We must support them as the mourn.

What can be done, what I can do, is learn from this event, to call it what it is. We can hold people accountable for the language they use to discuss it. We can insist that this atrocity be illuminated clearly so we can see all the ugly facets. We can hold the perpetrator fully responsible, and yet examine our own role as a society in which the perpetrator could go this far. Continue reading


Ender’s Game – To See or Not to See

November 1st is the end of a decade of waiting, of starts and stops. At the beginning of the month, the Ender’s Game movie is finally going to be released. I am extremely excited because Ender’s Game is my all-time favorite book (though Still Life with Woodpecker may have dethroned it). I’ll finally get to see all of the Wiggin kids, Bean, the Battle Room and Command School. I can’t actually remember the last time I was this excited for a movie. Unfortunately, this movie has become a bit of a battle ground itself, so I’m uncertain whether I’ll see it in the theater at all. Continue reading


I’ve developed a habit of picking up trash in the area surrounding my house as a cool-down after I run.  The house is adjacent to the fairgrounds and a public bike path.  Between the bike path and the house is a stand of large trees that transients camp in overnight.  So, there is always trash.  And it is typically unpleasant–soiled food containers at best, dirty needles at the worst.

During my rounds one morning I grumbled to myself about the useless, burdensome homeless that inhabit the neighborhood.  I wouldn’t care, I thought, if they just cleaned up after themselves.  Why only clean up after themselves, though?  They’re not doing anything else; why can’t they keep this area clean?

My thoughts then turned more introspective.  How would I approach life if I was homeless? I pondered.  After all, I’m not all that far from it.

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