Author Archives: David

Technological change and the hard work of parenting

Alison Gopnik reports in the Wall Street Journal: “Two large-scale surveys done in 2007 and 2013 in the Netherlands and Bermuda, involving thousands of adolescents, found that teenagers who engaged in more online communication also reported more and better friendships.” … Continue reading

Posted in Impressions | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We walked for miles to see him

I read this poem, or rather story in the form of a poem, in lieu of preaching a sermon on John 6:1–15 at St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church on July 26. I had no great words of wisdom to offer about … Continue reading

Posted in Poems, Sermons | Leave a comment

The Lord is not a shepherd

A sermon preached at St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church in Durham, N.C., on April 26, 2015. John 10:11-18 Psalm 23 I was determined that I was not going to stand up here and talk about sheep, but in thinking about today’s … Continue reading

Posted in Sermons | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Losing our language

This news has been wending its way through the blogosphere for a few months now, with predictable hand-wringing and defense, but Robert MacFarlane reports in Orion that the new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary replaces a number of words … Continue reading

Posted in Impressions | Leave a comment

Life and death (and soup) in the city

Originally published by New American Homesteader in 2015. Under a bright December sky we gathered to kill the St. Elizabeth House chickens. My friends who built the coop and tended the chickens had moved to Georgia for a new job, … Continue reading

Posted in Essays | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Listening with the ears of God

A sermon preached at St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church in Durham, N.C., on October 5, 2014. Matthew 21:33–46 One afternoon last week I spent a little time at the Durham Arts Council, walking through the galleries, looking at the exhibitions of … Continue reading

Posted in Sermons | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel in the magic city

Since I moved, it has slowly dawned on me that I can get practically everywhere faster by taking the freeway. But it has at the same time dawned on me that I might be eroding other, existing neighborhoods by using that freeway—not directly, not by physical or economic means, but simply by changing my perception of them. Continue reading

Posted in Essays | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Rituals of embodiment

It isn’t that I want effortless obedience from physical objects but because I believe there is value in the physical interaction itself: we are embodied beings, and we think not only with our minds or brains but with our hands and our whole bodies. Continue reading

Posted in Essays | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

27. The transformation of rains

Spring, and warmth, and the sun shone for days with bewitching clarity. Trees offered tender leaves like babies’ palms. Flowers unfurled their love to bumblebees. And clouds of pollen covered all and every thing, infinite infinitesimal golden grains like so … Continue reading

Posted in Forty Thanksgivings, Observances | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

26. The redbud

The redbud lurks all year at the edge of the woods, quiet and unassuming. He wakes with the dawn, puts on his business foliage, kisses his wife the dogwood goodbye, heads off to his office in the understory and shades … Continue reading

Posted in Forty Thanksgivings, Observances | Tagged , | Leave a comment