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A grace of time

on March 26th, 2016 by mark

For almost 10 years, I’ve identified myself as a writer. Publicly and even privately, I’ve indicated that I’m a journalist, a writer and a reporter. I have business cards that say so. My social media profiles indicate it. I have bylines in the New York Times, the San Jose Mercury News, the Ventura County Star, […]

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Sunday dogs

on March 6th, 2016 by mark

So much time and in such little parcels that it escapes. Like Simon, running off leash across the park into a barranca and up the hill on the other side to see the Sunday dogs in their yards. He leaps the distance across the small canyon with almost animated prowess. It’s as though he isn’t […]

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Heresy

on December 29th, 2015 by mark

I thought I was a geek. I saw Star Wars IV: A New Hope 22 times before I quit watching it. I owned all the little action figures. I had the X-wing, a tie-fighter, a Bespin Twin Pod and a land-speeder. I had Luke, Han, Leia, Chewy, Threepio and R2. I had a Star Wars […]

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Virginia Varner

on November 25th, 2015 by mark

Fireflies, fall, family and faith. Aunt Virginia is all of these things to me and she remains as strong, as fervent a presence in my memory and mind as ever she did. Virginia Varner, my Aunt, my dad’s sister who was such a huge presence and part of my life, died suddenly on November 7. […]

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A long winter’s nap

on November 1st, 2015 by mark

So fervent have I been in search of, in need of a break, that I didn’t even write about the break. Allow me to change that. The short version, so as not to bore you, is that in 2007, I went into spring semester wondering what I’d do for the summer. I didn’t want to […]

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A game of Faith’s Perfection

on September 20th, 2015 by mark

With apologies to Gus Van Sant, Sean Connery and Rob Brown, last night’s Pittsburgh Pirates at Los Angeles Dodgers game was for me, a distinctively faith-based enterprise. I’m relatively new to baseball mania. As a kid, I went to a few games, my first was at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh in 1974. The Cardinals […]

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Summer’s grip.

on August 4th, 2015 by mark

Summer used to be hot. Temperatures I couldn’t read followed by humidity I could feel through wet shirts and ball caps. I watched baseball and even played occasionally, not really knowing whether I loved it–and not caring. It’s what I did. Summer was a dream of fireflies and roller skates. It was long days beginning […]

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The lump of a day

on July 9th, 2015 by mark

The lump in my abdomen only made its presence known to me two nights ago and it was an accident. In hindsight, I wish I’d never have found it. I wish I’d just simply carried on–but I wish that because I wish I were…more assured. Summer 2015 began like so many others but with so […]

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Teaching Me

on May 15th, 2015 by mark

The bright sun doesn’t catch me in bed these days and, in fact, hasn’t for some years. I’m up by 5:30 in the morning and out the door by 6:30. That part of the routine hasn’t changed. But a new life has begun for us all in this new place, a house we rent from […]

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Old Flames

on April 15th, 2015 by mark

What happens to dreams that die? Does it mean the imagination is no longer active, that age, care and worry, the slings and arrows of all have somehow overwhelmed? I can’t remember my dreams anymore–not the nightly stuff of sleep and unconsciousness, but the dreams I once had for doing something new, finding something great, […]

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