Secret Ingredient 

El Maestro

Backyard baby back ribs, and Carlos even let me in on the secret ingredient to his addicting barbecue sauce (and it’s not la coca!)

What does the world need? –To listen. And I looked up from my inner question and saw music, the answer. Music, the best tool for teaching us how to use our ears. Then comes prophecy: to hear the truth only when ears can discern harmony from discord, truth from deceit. Read More

A Day in San Bernardo

Carlos

Don Carlos, the professional classical guitarist from whom I rented a room in Medellín, asked if I would feed the five tortugas in the atrium paradise under the lime tree and bougainvillea, and then accompany him in singing Renaissance music. We spent the afternoon learning lullabies and laments, and after much digging through ancient sheet music, he found the treasured García Lorca song arrangements.  Read More

Cobbling

Photo by Beorn DuPont

Breakfast beating at the hunger hour. The cobbler ate clams and drank Meritage, and Charlie from California called us all ‘homies’ while the phones kept buzzing. Bzzz, and Tim with his mandolin and Levon with his grooving views on duty and Dao while the ball of sun-dried tomato/basil whipped butter sat there wuwei… They were billy goats gruff and I coveted their lack of sensibilities. Merv, that ancient free spirit of a shoemaker, wandered town as a troll at SnowDown and asked around about “them hill-billies.”  Read More

Theravada Travels

Painting by Marisa Darasavath

January and February of 2011, we spent our days walking along Yunnan back roads; paths intersecting the tea fields of Xishuangbanna, literally a stone’s throw to Myanmar; the dirt roads and jungle paths (barefoot, oh the leeches!) of northern Laos where we paid Read More

Swirling Orb

galleryglorywindowsabrina

‘God’s voice don’t get you too far’

what they say at and below the bar,

nourishing our suckling wide-eyed star

that should awake to one more day

if the canyon bends to what we prayed

despite what the river carved and God hath made: Read More

Comrades

 

Pots2

Art by Amaya Engleking, pencil on paper

Mason Zhang and I in the alley last night with the laobaixing salt-of-the-earth, including the cook who proudly performed his version of ‘ABCDEFG’ for me last week.  His friend—a taxi driver in his fifties, though by appearance I’d have guessed at least seventy, by his sunken face with a bulge under the right side of his lip—didn’t smile when he said he was pleased, nor did he do so when he sang.  He took the old revolution songs seriously and lifted his left leg to motion a guitar while his foot tapped the beat. Read More

Alamogordo

mc-apex_med_hr

Art: Michael Copeland

Hey you over there it’s my birthday come have a beer don’t mind the Doberman, name’s Prince, and I’m RD and that’s Paula, Tom, and Chris, was best man in my wedding. –It’s my birthday tomorrow,– that’s when Geronimo died. He’s my people. –So you’re his seed still running around.– You’re sexy, I like your hair. Don’t see that except on TV. Yeah, RD, tell her how that song goes. Anaawakoto matabalula laRead More

Violent City

violent city

What I must learn about Colombia is that the journey was God-driven.  My speech was taken from me in those intimidating streets except when I was supposed to (and needed to, at this point) speak about my Lord.  I wrote that letter to Catalina, not knowing who on earth she was but a sister in heaven; but God gave me the words as well as the scripture from Deuteronomy chapter thirty, and she turned out to be a Medellín prostitute.  It’s not easy.  Humbling, to be writing to a lost soul who was both selling herself and who was myself: we are all sinners and our sins equal in the eyes of the Most High.  How does God work the perfection?

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