War is Personal

As I continue each day to write about disaster and displacement, and how we go on after the unthinkable, I watch as millions more people worldwide are added to the rolls of those made rootless, stateless, homeless by war and weather. Those of us who try to care and help can’t work fast enough to […]

All Knowing Saints

You don’t have to be an all knowing saint. Pure and holy. To be good for the world. To pray for the killing to stop. You don’t have to be a genius of geopolitics and a scholar of the history of the global order to want it to end. It isn’t a prerequisite that you […]

Chaos / Collision

Today I’m working on a hard section of my Big Fat Writing Project. It’s a particular stage of long term “recovery.” When the needs of those impacted directly collide with the bureaucracies intended to “assist”. I’ve struggled with this chapter. Wrestling with this material is a good mirror of the experience itself. (Mirror: a reflection […]

Hospitality / Soulful Living

Today I’m thinking about all the investments I’ve made in other people. The events and parties and dinners and fundraising receptions I’ve hosted at my house at my expense.  And three years of Sunday@Six gatherings. One of the things I love about true hospitality and generosity is it delivers a kind of immediate satisfaction. There […]

Starting Places

Five years ago, Judge Ed Emmett rang me up as I was juggling two phones trying to get information about which of our centers were flooded and which were dry. As then CEO of BakerRipley I was thinking past the immediate emergency of drastic flooding and stranded people, trying to inventory what assets we had […]

Losses

breathe through it I’ve been trying to “get over” some losses because even though I know better, the “just get over it” cultural norm pollutes my thinking. I’m not “over” these losses. I’m still in the process of letting go. Of reflecting on what they meant – what they mean now. Someone wise once told […]

Limbo Limbo Limbo

slow and low I share about patterns. Here’s the pattern we’re in with respect to recovery (if we can call it that). More about the troublesome nature of that word – recovery – next time. A lot of us are whispering “I’m so tired.” And we aren’t the “get a good nights sleep and all […]

On Gratitude

When times are tough we are often urged to be grateful for what we have. My father drove us slightly crazy with his admonishments along these lines. “There’s always someone worse off than you.” This, while true, doesn’t ease the pain a lick. Gratitude can’t be this weak ass thing that appears on one of […]

Catholic Education

Just saw this ad for Catholic Schools. I just feel the need to say: I succeeded both because of AND in spite of my Catholic School education. I treasure the teachings of Teillard de Chardin (excommunicated) and Sister Pat O’Donald. And the strong social conscience of a Catholic moral imperative. Thank you John Conway. And […]

Reckoning

In the aftermath of any catastrophe people and communities journey through a set of stages/states one of which I’ve labeled “reckoning”. Over the past 15 years since I began studying how people go on after the unthinkable happens, I’ve heard many people describe a particular juncture – a painful intersection. When they reached this intersection […]