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    To Be Honest: Why It’s Hard (but Helpful) to Tell the Truth

    “Before you print a poem, you should reflect on whether this verse could be of use to at least one person in the struggle with himself and with the world.” – Czeslaw Milosz Being honest is often a hard thing for me to do. I don’t actually mind it when someone prefaces their opinion with, […]

    It’s Funny Because It’s True: Death, Resurrection, and Aziz Ansari

    It’s been said before that standup comedians are the revered preachers of our day. They’re the ones who tell it like it is, who speak with authority; the ones who aren’t afraid to call us out for our collective wrongs, but who do so with such wit and humor that they somehow cut through our […]

    The Church and the Whorehouse: What’s the Difference?

    “The church and the whorehouse arrived in the Far West simultaneously. And each would have been horrified to think it was a different facet of the same thing. But surely they were both intended to accomplish the same thing: the singing, the devotion, the poetry of the churches took a man out of his bleakness […]

    All Suffering Great and Small: What Jeff Tweedy Learned in Rehab

    Several of the people I know who are thinking about seeing a therapist seem to be hung up on the idea that they haven’t suffered enough compared to other people. There’s the notion that, somehow, the depression they’re experiencing is discrediting someone else’s more legitimate depression. Meanwhile, it seems whenever people vent about some universal struggle […]

    An Ode to the Mockingbird Calling Outside My Window at 2AM

    This spring, for weeks at a time, a mockingbird has sat in a birch tree outside our bedroom window, calling out for hours on end in the middle of the night, well before dawn. Blaring his latest remix of car alarms, ring tones and other birds from the neighborhood, he relentlessly calls out into the […]

    Maine: The Way Life Should Have Been

    As you cross over the Maine state line, a sign reads “Welcome to Maine: The Way Life Should Be.” It’s one of the better state mottos (not as good as “Nebraska: Honestly, it’s not for everyone,” but far better than the sad and desperate “West Virginia: Open for Business!”). Whenever I cross into Maine, a […]

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