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About Duo Dickinson

Writing is too easy for us narcissists. There is the delusion that others care, and worse, care about you—unless none of it is about you, because all of life has been given to you. Being more than three-score years old, husband, father, architect, football player, coach and one of those the dreaded “cradle” Episcopalians, what I offer is fraught with the impossibilities of living up to those gifts. So I write about what is irreconcilable other than through God’s love and grace that passes all understanding. And I steal really good phrases. Often.

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Author Archive

    Justification, Work, and Me: A Parable of River Jack Stones

    One is not justified by works, but through faith. Saul of Tarsus may have been the best press agent ever. In several letters he wrote the above words, but I somehow find that talk difficult to walk. Paul murderously pursued the small collective of Jewish believers in the Messiah. They blasphemed against God, and Paul […]

    God Never Left, We Just Didn’t Know He Was There

    Forty-five years ago, a small band of 20-something’s were empowered by Cornell University to guide and grow a “Residential College for the Creative and Performing Arts.” It was an interesting choice. The 5 of us — 4 Resident Advisers and a Head Resident — took it very seriously, and, well, it was 1975. Our dorm […]

    Lean On Me

    It was 1971 on a 7:38am Niagara Frontier Transit bus going north from downtown Buffalo. The destination was the suburbs 45 minutes away, my private day school. I could have taken the private bus company’s ride that the school offered, but it was a 7am pickup. Buffalo offered free bus passes to all students, so […]

    At Sea

    If my Bark sink ‘Tis to another Sea — Mortality’s Ground Floor Is Immortality — Dickinson, F1250A We are at sea. So far out that there is no shore to sight. There may be a captain, but it does not matter. The sea is calling the shots. The captain can steer the boat, but the […]

    I Am Fat, And I Eat Ice Cream

    Human Difference and Human Oneness

    “This World Is Not Conclusion” (Song of COVID-19)

    By Emily Dickinson:

    This World is not Conclusion.
    A Species stands beyond —
    Invisible, as Music —
    But positive, as Sound —
    It beckons, and it baffles —
    Philosophy — don’t know —
    And through a Riddle, at the last —
    Sagacity, must go —
    To guess it, puzzles scholars —
    To gain it, Men have borne
    Contempt of Generations
    And Crucifixion, shown —
    Faith slips — and laughs, and rallies —
    Blushes, if any see —
    Plucks at a twig of Evidence —
    And asks a Vane, the way —
    Much Gesture, from the Pulpit —
    Strong Hallelujahs roll —
    Narcotics cannot still the Tooth
    That nibbles at the soul —

    – 1862

    As part of the Emily Days series on Saved by Design.

    “Escape from Circumstances”: Dickinson in Quarantine

    Take It from the Woman Who Self-Sequestered for Over Fifty Years

    Departed to the Judgment

    A Life Between Two Worlds

    Waiting for the Hammer to Fall in Lent

    Freddie Mercury and Death as a Part of Life

    In The Arena: On Best Efforts and Certain Failures

    It is the season where an entire nation seems to be made of “fans.” National college and professional games, players and primetime television are simply overwhelming in our popular culture, whether you enjoy football or not. But all things devotional, especially those that command our lives in youth, etch who we are in our devotion. […]

    Christmas Triggers

    In 1965 I was 10 years old. In full retreat from a mid-century family, I was a complete Peanuts fan boy. I had every (every) one of the bound compendiums, all the way back to the very first strip—started before I was born—plus bobblehead dolls, books on Charles Schulz (the cartoonist), and a poster or […]


    For 30 years, I have designed places for people to live when they are at the edge of coping. When creating anything, knowing those who will use the creation makes the creation better. This year, I have been part of an effort to make a safe harbor for the young who are lost. Listening to […]