Not everything I’ve written lives on this website. Several years ago, for no apparent reason, my writing shifted into the creation of intense personal essays, which tend to explore currents of the human experience (like love, gratitude, gender, and friendship) that run deeper than their typical portrayal in conventional wisdom. A number of thoughtful publications have done me the honor of publishing these essays in their pages. Here is a selection of them:
- Love May Be All of This. My wife leaves clumps of hair in the shower drain. I pick them up so she doesn’t have to. I think this qualifies as love. What else does? More than I would have thought, as I learned while writing this. Published in Braided Way, whose editor was good enough to nominate the essay for the Pushcart Prize.
- Ordinary Essay. I spent years trying to do extraordinary things, only to find myself as ordinary as the next person. As it turns out, that’s not so bad. It depends on which definition of ordinary you’re using. Published in Psaltery & Lyre.
- Thérèse and the Friendship Creed. Some of my closest friends are dead, as in the long-gone Catholic nun who showed me that friendship is so much bigger, and more liberating, than I ever imagined. Published in Amethyst Review.
- How the Secrets Came Out. The girl inside me is not my darkest secret. That’s what makes her so important: the reminder that not all deep secrets are dark, and that they come out or don’t come out in their own ways. Published in Catapult along with a follow-up essay, Before There Was a Q.
- No Thank You Necessary. How can you do something when you don’t know what it is? Many ancient traditions tout the value of gratitude, and most parents have reminded their young children to “say thank you.” But there must be more to it than mere words. This essay digs into the more. Published in Amethyst Review.
- A Reluctant Ecstasy. Ecstasy can mean different things. The original Greek translates as “out of one’s mind,” as in insanity, but it can also mean “out of one’s place,” like a zebra among a hundred horses, or a single red splash on an all-black painting. This essay dives deep into out of place, and why I can only take so much of it. Published in Belmont Story Review.
- Scenes from the Q of LGBTQ+. What is it like to live every day outside the confines of he and she? Difficult, intimidating, powerful, and occasionally funny. Published in Evolve.
- Outside/Inside. I have stopped living on the outside after decades trekking its wastes and drinking from its springs. I have settled on inside, reaching outside, as a home for my heart. Now comes this koan that questions whether there is inside or outside at all. Published in Amethyst Review.