Category Archives: Prayer

Mazama Retreat, Day 5

Deeply personal writing, especially about suffering, challenges  the best writers. Other people played roles and even the most objective reporting can’t fully capture all points of view. I’m far from the best writer, and I have enough journalism experience to know how hard it is to get a simple news story right. In the past […]

Mazama Retreat, Day 3

Today marks the 15th anniversary of my son Andrew’s death. Once it was clear the end was near, I made it my mission to help him prepare. Very quickly he let me know there wasn’t much I could tell him. I figured out I should turn myself around, and walk beside him. I don’t know […]

Mazama Retreat, Day 2

Yesterday, I mentioned sleep. This particular week, I need lots of it. I fell into bed last night around 10:30 and woke up just after 8. The first thing I did (after taking care of Jessie), I sat down to write. Just whatever. I opened my journal, picked up a pen, and started writing. About […]

Mazama Retreat Day 1, Part 2

With some improvisation, my Pappardelle al Ragu di Cinghiale came together and proved delicious. All natural, hormone- and antibiotic-free pork; organic carrots, onion, celery and Italian parsley; house-grown organic garlic, rosemary and thyme; organic whole wheat flour and tomato paste; Scarpetta’s Fricco Rosso Tuscan blend; Costco’s pecorino romano, and fresh pappardelle. I think I’m going […]


Rehashing:  A meditation on (not) letting go In my 20s I rushed to keep myself from feeling. In my 30s I rushed to figure out what I was feeling, under penalty of death. In my 40s I was crushed by overwhelming feelings upon the death of Andrew, my younger son.  What ifs by the thousands, […]

Going to My Church

Highway 20, North Cascades National Park, Tuesday, October 23. 2012:

Prayer Post 5: An Agnostic’s Prayer Travel Kit

A few days before the end of my 17-day test period, I daydreamed about a ritual and a home shrine to facilitate my prayer.  It really helped me to have a dedicated place, my Chair, described in Prayer Post 3.  When I was down on my knees in front of that Chair, the burning candle […]

Prayer Part 4: This Agnostic Gets Down on His Knees

First thing you do, get down on your knees.  If you want prayer to work for you, I believe you have to get down on your knees.  On your knees, you will feel humble, and I believe you have to practice humility as a precondition to getting any benefit from prayer.  You have to humble […]

Prayer Post 3: When and Where Will This Agnostic Pray?

Where and when will you pray?  In my 17-day test period, I tried several different approaches, and what I concluded is that I need a special little place at home, plus something I can always take with me that can anchor me into the prayer mindset wherever I go. Of the 11 prayer days during […]

Prayer Post 2: How Prayer Helped An Agnostic Achieve a Breakthrough

In my last post, I talked about how just a few days of prayer changed my life.  Here’s an example.  I’ve been dating my girlfriend for nearly seven years. For much of that time, I’ve had some things on my mind that I’ve wanted to say but haven’t — for fear that I would anger […]