A Facebook Post About Love

In two days, I’ll be taking a bus to Redmond to cast my diasporic vote in the Lebanese elections. I won’t be doing this because I believe that there will be a direct correlation between casting my vote and seeing any change in my lifetime; I’ll be taking that bus to cast that vote because I love my friends and family and when you love, you do things like that. You show up, you participate, you chip in. I’m grateful to be able to ride that bus to Redmond; I’m grateful that I can ride a bus to pretty much … Continue reading “A Facebook Post About Love”

The Meaning of 888

For years, a running joke I told was that I was born on Antichristmas—June 25, the symbolic antipode of Christmas Day. And while the season’s greetings I text my friends have become a lot less sarcastic, I am beginning to see a lesson in the turning of that wheel, again & again, and the spiral path it’s made. As a species we seem to be formed by contrast. “Kikhhh,” the Lebanese mother will sound out to the child who has tried to taste something he’d picked up off the ground, establishing his boundary between clean and unclean. If this line … Continue reading “The Meaning of 888”

The Meaning of Six Six Six

And what spot does X mark? X is you and I, the coming together of diagonals—an intersection and ideal symbol for the very search for meaning. X can mean the unknown variable or the buried loot at the center of a treasure map; X is both a placeholder and a destination—a deliberate holding pattern, or, perhaps, a refusal to land on familiar terms. In our cultural consciousness, we have Generation X, The X-Files, and Malcom X. Let your eyes shift back & forth between these correspondences. Contemplate their polarities—if strange patterns emerge, what you are now experiencing is what Umberto … Continue reading “The Meaning of Six Six Six”

The Meaning of 1, 2, 3

Knowing thyself can serve a practical purpose as well; it’s a shorthand that short-circuits the rookie writer’s evergreen anxiety: how to tell a story that is not a long series of introductions introducing more introductions. I-dentity draws the “I”—a line in the sand—and brings the point to focus. I am traveling with another; this is my story. And yet, as with all quick-fixes, identity begs more questions than it answers. Where exactly is the starting line? At a recent staff retreat, I came ill-prepared to a team-building session with a scrapbook as my story-prompt that I planned to turn into … Continue reading “The Meaning of 1, 2, 3”

INTRODUCING INCONJUNCT

I want to tell you about a little project called @INCONJUNCT. But first, a few words about “inconjunction,” a technical term from astrology that’s neither “conjunction” nor “opposition.” It might not even be anything at all as, indeed, it wasn’t for ancient writers like Ptolemy who called it a “non-relationship.” To understand the concept, you may want to hold in your mind a certain metaphysic of cosmic influence—as above, so below, etc—but even that is not entirely necessary; you may choose to follow the symbolic geometry instead: “Dividing a circle into two parts creates a diameter and two points on a circumference separated … Continue reading “INTRODUCING INCONJUNCT”

All-In-One

Today, the Full Moon is in Pisces and I’m thinking about how not that many lunations ago, I would not have known nor cared about what that signified. I’m less concerned with what this time might mean for me and more in awe with how a couple of conversations could cascade into a whole new comportment towards vast webs of signification—stimulating ideas, for sure, but also, whole communities of practice. I’ve stumbled onto a wholly foreign shore and have realized that millions of people have been here all along. It really doesn’t matter what I end up getting out of … Continue reading “All-In-One”

Digital Discipleship

I recently enrolled in a class on digital media and Christian discipleship, and the next post I’ll be making will be part of this week’s assignment: “post a picture that reflects your definition of discipleship on your Instagram account.” “Discipleship” isn’t a term I hear used in the churches I go to or the churches I grew up in; I’m more familiar with the “believer” to “follower” spectrum of terms for that general concept of allegiance to Christ. So I had to figure out what’s different about this word before I could define it for myself. Looking up and talking … Continue reading “Digital Discipleship”

Faith Made Flesh

I’ve been thinking a lot about cultures of complaint lately, so it’s comforting to read these words in Sunday’s lectionary: ‘Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.’ Though we may be used to picturing God as patient and willing to listen, to be told that directly—to be reminded that the cosmos was pieced together by a God who not only hears our complaining but also asks us to draw near–well, that ‘hits differently’ when the world around us feels mismatched with that ideal. I come from a country where grumbling about the state of things is … Continue reading “Faith Made Flesh”

So That Nothing May Be Lost

There’s something that happens whenever I read scripture; I find myself looking for God in the gaps—not “the God of the Gaps,” that theological sleight of hand that calls “God” any explanatory rabbit pulled out of every mysterious hat, but rather, the spirit of God’s lessons for us, today, at the margins, in the silences, on the thresholds—in any place we overlook. That these gaps exist is undeniable; so what, if anything, is the Spirit saying to God’s people there? We can ask this question in different ways when reading this Sunday’s gospel text. This event—often called the Feeding of … Continue reading “So That Nothing May Be Lost”

And He Was Amazed

The story of Jesus of Nazareth in Nazareth is layered and maybe a little unsettling, but it’s not wholly unrelatable, especially in a city like Seattle; nearly everyone I know here has a complicated relationship with some place they call “back home.”  Years ago, I read a book that summed up the Nazarenes’ reaction to that carpenter kid next door returning all wisened up and doing “deeds of power” with three simple words: “familiarity breeds contempt.” That’s probably the only thing I remember about that book because it seemed to unlock the secrets behind all sorts of mysterious behavior around me–the paradox of being … Continue reading “And He Was Amazed”