SATURDAY READING: Screaming by Dan Wakefield

October 15, 2017

From Returning: A Spiritual Journey One balmy spring morning in Hollywood, a month or so before my forty-eighth birthday, I work up screaming.  I got out of bed, went into the next room, sat down on a couch, and screamed again.  This was not, in other words, one of those waking nightmares left over from sleep that is dispelled by the comforting light of day.  It was, rather, a response to the reality that another morning had broken in a life I could only deal with sedated by wine, loud noise, moving images, and wired to electronic games that further distracted my fragmented attention from a growing sense of blank, nameless pain in the pit of my very being, my most essential self.  It was the beginning of a year in which I would have [...]

POETRY: The Idea Of Ancestry by Etheridge Knight

July 9, 2014

1 Taped to the wall of my cell are 47 pictures: 47 black faces: my father, mother, grandmothers (1 dead), grand- fathers (both dead), brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins (1st and 2nd), nieces, and nephews. They stare across the space at me sprawling on my bunk. I know their dark eyes, they know mine. I know their style, they know mine. I am all of them, they are all of me; they are farmers, I am a thief, I am me, they are thee. I have at one time or another been in love with my mother, 1 grandmother, 2 sisters, 2 aunts (1 went to the asylum), and 5 cousins. I am now in love with a 7-yr-old niece (she sends me letters in large block print, and her picture is the only one that smiles at me). I have the same name as 1 grandfather, 3 [...]

PRAYER: A Novena To Saint Maximilian Kolbe For The Grace To Be Freed From Addiction

August 14, 2012

(I collect prayers, and I’m especially fond of novenas.  I find them to be a very practical means of organizing thoughts and hopes.  A year or so ago, I was putting together a litany for parents with wayward children. It was dedicated to a woman who was going through a very bad time with her daughter, a young woman whose life was being slowly ruined because of her addiction to drugs.  I was shocked, and somewhat horrified, when I could not find a prayer concerning addiction, any kind of addiction.  It was as though the church turned its face away from such degradation.  Perhaps there is just too much shame in the idea of addiction to want to actually pray for someone in such trouble. If that’s the case, then that is the [...]

EVIL: Is Evil An Addiction?

February 20, 2012

Recently, I was reading an interview given by a very knowledgeable and well spoken nutritionist, who very clearly knew what she was talking about.  (Yes, I’m being redundant.)  But the interviewer was quite sharp in his own right.  He asked the nutritionist, you go around teaching these principles, do people listen to you? And her answer was somewhat shocking and blunt: no, she said.  Absolutely not. And why is that? came the follow-up question.  Because people are too addicted to fast food.  To grabbing something “naughty” at the check-out counter.  To Starbucks. People may want to read about or listen to what they should be eating, but, in private, people eat what makes them feel good.  Or what they think [...]