How do you take the measure of a place you are visiting for the first time? As a Midwesterner, I watch first for variations in landscape and skyscape. Maybe that’s because I grew up in the oak savanna transition zone between hardwood forest and prairie, where I noted subtle variations even on daily trips. [...]
I pride myself on being a person who welcomes diversity. I fancy myself to be open to all varieties of humanity, even those I have not yet encountered. I don’t use the word “different,” or worse “real differ’nt,” as an epithet, the way I heard it used in my hometown when I was a [...]
The same day Dick Clark died, I read yet another newspaper lament about the Facebook generation’s lack of genuine community. Reliance on a virtual community, rather than face-to-face engagement, is exacerbating young people’s loneliness, the article maintained. Had Dick Clark’s death not tossed me back to the reality check of memory, I might have [...]
Today is the centenary of my dad’s birth. Gordon Leslie Register was born on January 16, 1912, and died on November 30, 2004, six weeks short of 93. I could go many directions from here, but ultimately my subject will be the maintenance of family ties.
For too long already I have been doing [...]
This winter’s unusual length and ferocity have forced me into a week-long reckoning with my entire literate life. No, I’m not on a spiritual retreat; this reckoning is material–full of the stuff of life. An ice dam on the roof in December sent water cascading down my study wall and bowed the ceiling. The [...]
This quotation from the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher arrived in my mail yesterday, in The Presbyterian Heritage newsletter. It certainly sounds Protestant, and it suits my Midwestern upbringing by Depression-era parents as well. How do you shake free of a legacy like this? Or do you just work with it?
“The bread which we [...]
If you’ve been to my old green, dandelion-crowned website, SURPRISE! Here’s the brand new look. I first went on the web in 2005, when Brian Boyd of Yeong and Yeong Books, the publisher of my book Beyond Good Intentions, encouraged me to do so. I could do little with that first format other than [...]