The Purpose of Loneliness

“Why do you feel lonely?” my professor asks the girl at the far end of the table, deeply grieved. He speaks with gentleness and listens with the utmost consideration for our well-being. He leans forward in the wheelie chair and clasps his hands.     “I don’t know,” says the girl, caught off-guard, “I just feel lonely sometimes.” She guards her …

Emptiness and Goodness

It’s late August, and I’m in the middle of a make-shift art gallery in a cabin tucked away in an isolated part of Elizabethtown, in the Adirondacks. I’m here to support a new acquaintance, a ceramics artist completing a residency that culminates in a showing of her work. A room divider stands between the gallery space and the venue’s modest …

Embracing Paradox

“We cannot seem to escape paradox; I do not think I want to.” Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water   I am driving my parents’ aging Camry up Route 9. The late afternoon sun slants through the windshield and I flip down the sun visor to block the haze. My heart is palpitating, my breaths are shallow, my mouth is dry, …