Praying through the internet

My grandmother died last night.

I write a lot about death, to my sometimes surprise, but this isn’t a post about death, or dying, or about the Ancestors. This is a post about prayer, about the technology of prayer, and about the communities that sustain us. Continue reading “Praying through the internet”


“I want you to know how much I cared”: being open, not being strong

As so often happens when I’m moved to write something, today’s post comes from multiple sources that, while not intrinsically connected, end up jostling against each other in my daily life. Usually I end up working to hide the seams, as it were, to make the writing feel like an uninterrupted whole, but today I’m showing my work. (Sorry for mixing those metaphors.) Today, meditations on openness and honesty, courtesy of my non-druid friends, Jens Lekman, homosexuality, and my husband.

Continue reading ““I want you to know how much I cared”: being open, not being strong”

On marriage, the state, and the limits of legitimacy

I got married last week. Well, sort of. Actually Jarod and I were married in July of 2011, in front of about 150 friends and relatives, with rings and nice outfits and a photographer and an officiant and a sound system and a catered reception and dancing. It was, for all intents and purposes, a wedding. (And a very pleasant one at that — I’m still pleased at the way we managed to thread the needle of tradition and make a ceremony that was, at once, recognizable to everyone and yet also not beholden to any particular tradition.) And yet, it also wasn’t a wedding: we signed no papers, had no license, weren’t legally married in any sense whatsoever, because at the time, July of 2011, the Ohio Constitution included §15.11, ‘Marriage Amendment’: “Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this state and its political subdivisions. This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage.”
Continue reading “On marriage, the state, and the limits of legitimacy”

December 24th, Part 1: Christmas

This past week my husband and I were out of town visiting his family. It was a great trip, full of beautiful locations, plenty of good food and drink, and lots of family fun. The only thing making it difficult for me was the holiday of Christmas, around which the whole holiday season revolves in both my husband’s family and my own. It’s not that I have anything against Christmas as such. I retain deep respect for the religious tradition in which I was raised, and from an entirely irreligious standpoint the civic celebration of yuletide is definitely festive and heartwarming — as the Andy Williams tune has it, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.”  But when it comes to the feast of Christmas itself, I have such a welter of emotions and associations around the whole thing that I have a hard time with it.

Continue reading “December 24th, Part 1: Christmas”

Anointing with oil and song

A week and a half ago, my uncle Robert sent out a message to the whole family: my aunt Suzanne had suffered a seizure, and was in the hospital. Over the next few days more details unfolded: there was a mass, but doctors weren’t calling it a tumor. Suzanne was doing well, and was back at home and still planning on hosting Thanksgiving (a major undertaking in my large extended family, 50 or so people). Surgery and biopsy wouldn’t be till after the holiday weekend. She appreciated all our prayers. Continue reading “Anointing with oil and song”