Some of the People, Some of the Time

I have a feeling President Lincoln wasn’t actually talking about family vacations when he famously quoted the poet John Lydgate to say, ““You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the […]

Lockdown in Lia: Larger than Life Days in Our Tiny Village

After a whirlwind three weeks of weddings (my cousin’s on the Peloponnesian coast), ruins (the Byzantine city of Butrint in what is now Albania), and beaches (too numerous to mention), I thought we’d end our annual trip to Greece with a few relaxing days in Lia, the quiet village where my father was born, which […]

All My Found Saints

When it comes to cultural events and spiritual uplift, I love church and I love dancing. But you just don’t often get to do the two together. Except in Diriamba, Nicaragua, where I just attended the Reese’s Peanut Butter cup of community events, the last day of the festival for the patron saint of Diriamba […]

I Saw the Sign: On Feet and Fate

Yesterday we lost power, and I thought it might be a sign that the Lord wanted me to get a pedicure. I know this is the kind of thing that only a crazier-than-crazy person thinks, much less says out loud. I know that the Lord probably does not spend much time thinking about my toes, […]

In Gratitude for Funerals

Of all the liminal stages and rituals that exist, everyone’s least favorite is, of course, the funeral. In a life filled with baptisms, weddings, and birthday parties, the funeral is the Eeyore of rituals: solemn, sorrowful, and downright depressing. But, like Eeyore, they serve a purpose that’s as important as those fulfilled by their other […]

What the Frigate?

This post is a guest post I wrote for the “Great Authors” section of Andrea Peskind Katz’s fabulous blog, “Great Thoughts”. When I was in high school, every year the faculty awarded one student a book stamped with a bookplate that showed two children under a tree reading, and the maxim “There is no frigate […]

Deja Vu All Over Again

According to Chinese astrology, every 12 years we repeat certain characteristic patterns. This makes sense, as there are a dozen animals in the Chinese zodiac and they take turns ruling each year, influencing it with their personality; you might radically change your life every dozen years under the influence of the restless, impulsive Tiger, say. […]

Mini in Miami

Amalía and I are in New York, but we brought a little bit of Miami with us. Two little bits actually: the shiny gold studs in Amalía’s tiny ears. Read all about it in the post “Baby’s First Bling”, which I wrote for the Townies column of the Opinionator blog in the New York Times’ […]

Spiritual Spring Break

It’s that time of year again–empty beer bottles are sprouting in my garden like so many crocuses, flocks of young chicks in bikini tops and belly rings keep swooping into my neighborhood Starbucks, and, if the boys who have rented the apartment across the courtyard are any indication, young men’s fancy is turning to lust. […]

Say Hello to My Little Fruit

I once heard novelist Zadie Smith describe the several psychological stages an author goes through while writing a novel. Based on my own experience, she was right on about all of them–the self-consciousness bordering on self-hatred when things aren’t going well, and that experience when things are where everything you see, read, or hear, seems […]