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Monthly Archives: May 2014


A vocation need not be learned at vocational school. A week ago, Jennifer Mascia noted for the New York Times that “while there may be a dearth of federal dollars going into gun violence research, journalists are attempting to fill the gap.” Mascia refers to a Cleveland, Ohio publication’s database of shooting deaths, though her own post is part of that project.

A few weeks ago, Ana asked me where I’d choose to work if I knew I’d get any job for which I applied. I said NPR, thinking also of PRI and Vox and Syria Deeply and anyone and everyone else seeking out and publicizing information thoughtfully, intentionally, and thoroughly. Journalism. That’s a key element of “gospel,” isn’t it? You can’t tell what’s good without telling what’s bad, and vice versa.

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A few weeks ago, I had my last shifts at JOE and the Kelly Writers House; last week, I graduated from Penn; and in three weeks, I move to the Pacific Northwest.


Last night, Ben and Nolan and I drank champagne in the backyard out of mason jars; then Ben and I walked down all of campus, pointing out all the important places and ending at the Button, sitting there for a long time, thinking.

This afternoon, I’ll drive Ben to the airport and put boxes in my parents’ car. I’m selling books and coffee equipment; giving away old clothes and unused makeup; stacking books to bring with me. As Ana told Jessica, I’m kind of going just to go, to go. I do have a job, a safety-net and an assurance; for that, I’m so grateful and I’m excited. It’s true, though, that I’ve picked Vancouver as somewhere new, from-scratch, and also kind and safe. I’m excited.

This week, I reread Gilead. I couldn’t believe how much of it mattered so much to me. This book nearly created me in some ways, and so it reflects the way I think and what I believe.

All that is fine, but it’s your existence I love you for, mainly. Existence seems to me now the most remarkable thing that could ever be imagined.
Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

Lamb Roast, April 2014 (taken by Janelle); Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas, March 2014.

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