Category Archives: Blog

A rosary for activists: the Glorious Mysteries

(You might want to read the background on the rosary as I practice it and its Mysteries). On Wednesdays and Sundays the Mysteries of the day are the Glorious. These are probably the most stereotypically “Catholic” of the Mysteries, given that … Continue reading

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A rosary for activists: the Sorrowful Mysteries

As you may or may not know, I’m a practicing Catholic. And one of my practices is the rosary, a form of prayer that goes back to the Middle Ages. It’s a folk tradition, which means there’s a simple core, a … Continue reading

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The Long Ride, Day Four

Well, I’m home. I’ve worried about this day’s cycling the whole trip. The forecast was rain, or thunderstorms, or maybe both, with the wind blowing into my face. I’d lucked out on the weather so much for the rest of … Continue reading

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The Long Ride, Day Zero

This morning, I got up, got dressed, and got on my bike. I cycled south from my village into Amsterdam: right turn, left turn, right turn, cross the river, get to work. It took me about half an hour. Tomorrow … Continue reading

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Planting beside the water

Behind my house the terrain runs in stripes: a stretch of grass, a narrow road, another stretch of grass, a canal, more grass up a slope, the elevated main road into our village, then the local business park. For some … Continue reading

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Peter Quince on the Polder

Just as my fingers on these keys Make music, so the self-same sounds On my spirit make a music, too. Music is feeling, then, not sound; And thus it is that what I feel, Here in this room, desiring you, … Continue reading

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…For What We Will

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.— Luke 12:34, KJV Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will.— American labor movement slogan from the 1880’s For Mother’s Day last spring, … Continue reading

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Windmills and Pylons

Autumn has come to the Low Countries, and with it, heavy rains. The ground got good and soaked last night, and as the temperatures dropped, the wet land breathed fog. Urban areas, with all of their hard landscaping, still had … Continue reading

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The voyage of discovery

The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. —Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past I wrote, in my last piece on cycling through the Dutch landscape, about the vast openness of the terrain. … Continue reading

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And what is this new sense of time?

What is this weight in my mind? And what is this new sense of time? It’s the open fields and the friends that are gone, And I’ve been in the lowlands too long. —Gillian Welsh, “Lowlands”, who didn’t mean it … Continue reading

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