Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z: Last Prayer


Today ends my month of blogging daily, meditating on author Brian Doyle's uncommon prayers celebrating the miracle and muddle of the ordinary. I hope these posts have made you look anew at the ordinary. And here is Brian Doyle's last prayer, a reflection on the blessings in his life. What would you write, if you were to be thankful for the greatest blessings in your life?

And yay for otters. They are my favorite animal too. My spirit animal. 

Z: Last Prayer

Dear Coherent Mercy: thanks. Best life ever.

Personally I never thought a cool woman would come close to understanding me, let along understanding me but liking me anyway, but that happened!

And You and I both remember that doctor in Boston saying polite but businesslike that we would not have children but then came three children fast and furious!

And no man ever had better friends, and no man ever had a happier childhood and wilder brothers and a sweeter sister, and I was that rare guy who not only loved but liked his parents and loved sitting and drinking tea and listening to them!

And You let me write some books that weren't half bad, and I got to have a career that actually no kidding helped some kids wake up to their best selves, and no one ever laughed more at the ocean of hilarious things in this world, or gaped more in astonishment at the wealth of miracles everywhere every moment.

I could complain a little right here about the long years of back pain and the occasional awful heartbreak, but Lord, those things were infinitesimal against the slather of gifts You gave mere me, a muddle of a man, so often selfish and small. But no man was ever more grateful for Your profligate generosity, and here at the very end, here in my last lines, I close my eyes and weep with joy that I was alive, and blessed beyond measure, and might well be headed back home to the incomprehensible Love from which I came, mewling, many years ago.

But hey, listen, can I ask one last favor? If I am sent back for another life, can I meet my lovely bride again? In whatever form? Could we be hawks, or otters maybe? And can we have the same kids again if possible? And if I get one friend again, can I have my buddy Pete? He was a huge guy in this life--make him the biggest otter ever, and I'll know him right away, okay? Thanks, Boss. Thanks from he bottom of my heart. See You soon.

Remember--otters. Otters rule. And so: amen. 

Here's more information on why I chose this focus for the A to Z, and you can read all my 2015 A to Z posts here. I hope you enjoy the celebrations of the miracle and muddle of the ordinary! 

You can buy the book at Brian's favorite local bookstore, Broadway Books, at Powell's Books, or on AmazonBrian's work is used with permission of Ave Maria Press.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Y: Your Father's Day


Thank God for feminism, because as a result our generation's men are so much more engaged in their children's lives. Increasing numbers of men are making the choice to be stay-at-home dads or primary caregivers to their children.

In my own family, my sons are learning that being a man does not necessarily mean going outside of the house to work. Sometimes the moms do that and the dads stay at home to care for the kids.

The fathers I know are heavily integrated into family life and have close, loving relationships with their children. So the uncommon prayer today is for all of those incredible, dedicated, and caring dads...especially my children's dad!


Prayer on Father's Day

Brothers, I too have spent many sleepless hours worrying about money and insurance and minor-in-possession citations and speeding tickets and endless bouts of the flu which might mean some horrifying disease. I too have snarled and barked and growled and roared at my children.

I too have sometimes, usually in the shower, wondered what crimes I committed in a previous life to be afflicted so with rude and surly and vulgar and unappreciated progeny. Yet I too, brothers, know that they are why we are the luckiest men who ever lived; and I too have laughed so hard at their capers and antics that I had to lie down for a while; and I too have bathed and fed and rocked and coddled and wrestled and played and sung with them, and believed myself at those moments to be closer to heaven than any man ever, and known that this was indeed so, even more than it was and is in the delightful throes of romantic love.

So, brothers, a prayer for us today, as we are handed useless garish neckties and Weedwackers that will soon rust and die in the shed, and scrawled coupons for chores to be done in the future; for we are blessed, brothers, and we know it in our better moments, and we pray that today is composed of only those, for once. And so: amen.

Here's more information on why I chose this focus for the A to Z, and you can read all my 2015 A to Z posts here. I hope you enjoy the celebrations of the miracle and muddle of the ordinary! 

You can buy the book at Brian's favorite local bookstore, Broadway Books, at Powell's Books, or on AmazonBrian's work is used with permission of Ave Maria Press.

Monday, April 27, 2015

X: Snarling Prayer for TeXting Driver


Last year 32-year-old Ann Sanford was taking selfies and posting to Facebook while driving in North Carolina. Right after she wrote how much the song "Happy" makes her feel happy, she crashed her car and died. The news is full of other similar ridiculous bad texting-while-driving decisions with bad endings.

No text message is important enough to risk your life or others' lives to read it. Texting makes you 23 times more likely to crash. Even scarier, 77 percent of teens and 55 percent of young adults think they can safely text while driving. So I can relate to Brian Doyle's disgust and righteous anger at the reckless jerk who was texting while driving...especially because he could have killed multiple people with his stupidity!

X: Snarling Prayer for the Reckless Jerk Who Just Swerved Insanely Among Three Lanes of Traffic at Incredible Speed While Texting, Causing Us Other Drivers Heart Palpitations

You are important and we are not. You ought not to be slowed down by cars in your way, because you are you and we are only dross and froth.

You obviously are a terrific driver, cool as you text behind the wheel of your shining new Lexus, and we are merely drivers of battered ancient wagons that should be recycled into recalcitrant toasters. Really we should have pulled to the side of the road and gaped as you whizzed by, but forgive us for not realizing immediately you were so cool.

Now we know, and as soon as my heart rate retreats and my fingers unclench from the steering wheel and my rage beings to subside and the visions I had of smoking wrecks and sobbing children dissolve, I will offer a disgruntled prayer for you, you selfish fool: that you get a grip, that you see what fear and turmoil you put into people's hearts when you drive like that, that you get a dose of humility without paying for it in your blood or someone else's.

I pray also that you soon get the biggest speeding ticket in the history of the state of Oregon, so big it has its own zip code. I pray you have an epiphany and realize you are not actually the most important or interesting person on the planet. I pray that you grow up.

It took me long enough to begin to grow up, so I am not crowing here; I'm just saying I hope the One gently delivers a message to you soon, before you kill yourself or someone else, you arrogant dolt. And so: amen.

Here's more information on why I chose this focus for the A to Z, and you can read all my 2015 A to Z posts here. I hope you enjoy the celebrations of the miracle and muddle of the ordinary! 

You can buy the book at Brian's favorite local bookstore, Broadway Books, at Powell's Books, or on AmazonBrian's work is used with permission of Ave Maria Press.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

W: Weird Lovely Things Women Wear in Their Hair


This is Brian Doyle's love letter to women, including his wife, and it's lovely. It made me think of our gorgeous friend Clara, who is 97 and close to death...and the lost glory of her once-red hair and the the beauty of aging women like Clara.

Visiting Clara last month
Clara last year with another beautiful woman I know
Clara in her younger years--not only beautiful but industrious!
Prayer of Bemused Thanks for Scrunchies & Those Other Weird Lovely Things Women Wear in Their Hair

Which is, of course, a prayer of thanks for women, every one of them beautiful beyond words, not that I am looking closely or anything. But they are. Brilliant and silly and generous and graceful and sinewy and amused by clunky burly male animals. And o gawd their hair spilling and cascading and rippling and sliding over their shoulders, their hair cupping those extraordinary faces!

I have never once seen a woman who was not beautiful; even those who were churlish and surly, those who most obviously and assiduously used their beauty as tool and weapon, those who drew plaudits in business for being as cold and greedy as male captains of industry were girls still somewhere inside, and liable to flashes of tenderness and grace.

I was granted one above all, to witness and to celebrate, to sing and to explore, though there will never be an end to her mystery, never; and I was granted a daughter, to witness and to protect, and finally to launch into the world, far away; and I was granted a vision of all those scrunchies and clasps, clicking and snapping hairpieces, buried headlong in the wildernesses of their voluminous hair; and it is another mysterious gift of Yours, I know, that the women I have met who have lost their hair, and beam at me bald as doorknobs despite the wither of their illness, are more beautiful than they were before; how could that be? Yet it is so.

For their fullness and their litheness, for their patience and their testiness, for their endless complexity and their oceanic empathy, thank You. And this is not even to get into the whole kissing thing, another great idea. And so: amen.

Here's more information on why I chose this focus for the A to Z, and you can read all my 2015 A to Z posts here. I hope you enjoy the celebrations of the miracle and muddle of the ordinary! 

You can buy the book at Brian's favorite local bookstore, Broadway Books, at Powell's Books, or on AmazonBrian's work is used with permission of Ave Maria Press.

What I Read the First Three Months of the Year

I've not been keeping up with my book summaries on this blog, so I have some catching up to do! And it's almost the end of April! Click the title to read my full reviews at Marie's Book Garden.

Fiction
Golden Boy
Golden Boy, by Abigail Tarttelin

I loved this book about an intersex English teenager. Max Walker is his family's golden boy, but he and his family are harboring a secret. But when Max has a horrific encounter with a boy from his childhood, everything shifts and the secrets begin to leak out. This book is painful, poignant, and beautiful, and is an artful and sensitive depiction of sexual orientation and intersex issues. Abigail Tarttelin is a young actor and novelist, and she is an author to follow!

Keeping the House, by Ellen Baker
Keeping the House

Each chapter in Ellen Baker's novel begins with an excerpt from a 1950s homemaking guide...about how women can keep their husbands happy. Told through the lens of Dolly Magnuson, a homemaker who moves to a small Wisconsin town in 1950, the book goes back to the late 1800s when Dolly begins visiting an abandoned mansion and uncovers the secrets of the family who inhabited it. Dolly's unhappy in her marriage, just as Wilma Mickelson, the matriarch of the great house, was unhappy in hers. This novel illustrates the pressures women faced, trying to create a perfect house while sacrificing their own needs. It's homemaking before feminism.
Never Let Me Go
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

The protagonist of Never Let Me Go, Kathy, tells the story in first person, about her childhood years at Hailsham, a private school in England. The narrative style was dry and distant, typical of Ishiguro. I was expecting more out of this book...I didn't feel it was very compelling. I wonder what Kazuo Ishiguro is like as a person, as the characters in his novel seem to live their lives as unfulfilled, unhappy people...it's almost as if he doesn't want his characters to be happy and he has a cynical, depressing view of life.

The Kizuna Coast (Rei Shimura Mystery, #11)
The Kizuna Coast, by Sujata Massey

Animal DreamsI've been reading Sujata Massey's Rei Shimura detective series since the late 1990s, captivated by these books because the main protagonist is a Japanese-American antiques dealer turned detective, living and working in Japan. A fascinating character who I've always felt I could relate to more than most detectives, Rei has led me through ten adventures. Soon after the tsunami hit, Rei's mentor Mr. Ishida calls her, asking for help. She gets to Japan as soon as she can and gets embroiled in a mystery...to find out what happened to Mr. Ishida's young apprentice, Mayumi, who has disappeared. She goes to Tohoku as part of a relief effort and is touched by people who have lost their loved ones and livelihoods. I thought this book lent a fascinating glimpse into the earthquake aftermath and relief efforts, a tale told by someone else who loves Japan.

Animal Dreams, by Barbara Kingsolver 

I read Animal Dreams soon after it was published in the early 1990s, but I reread it in February for my book group. Kingsolver masterfully writes colorful characters; the plot in is secondary to characters and setting. It's a story packed with community, redemption, ecological justice, family, and sisterhood...strong women and deep female relationships. It takes a little while to get drawn in, but it's a beautiful novel, well worth the effort!
Evil at Heart
Evil at Heart (Gretchen Lowell series), by Chelsea Cain

I read these books because they're set in Portland and I got the privilege of hearing Chelsea Cain speak in 2010. Gretchen Lowell is an evil serial killer on the loose, and Oregonians are apparently obsessed with her. If you can suspend reality, it's a thrilling read. I will wait a few years before reading the next one though...it's a bit too light--and violent--for my regular tastes!

Nonfiction
Prime Time: Love, Health, Sex, Fitness, Friendship, Spirit: Making the Most of All of Your Life
Prime Time, by Jane Fonda

The ageless Jane Fonda breaks our lives into three acts, and she focuses most of this book on Act III. Weaving her personal life stories with strong research and tips on aging, food, fitness, friendship, love, and sex, Fonda recommends that we each perform a life review--especially while our elders are still alive so we can interview them--to better understand where we've come from and where we're going. In the end, a well-worth-it read on aging for women!

Half Broke Horses
Half Broke Horses, by Jeannette Walls

I loved this true-life novel/biography of Walls' spitfire grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, born in 1903, who was a "mustang-breaking, poker-playing, horse-race-winning schoolmarm.” Lily worked side by side with her ranch-running dad, breaking and training the horses. When she was 15, she took off on her horse, solo, for a 30-day journey to Arizona, where she'd landed a job as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse, even though she'd hardly had any formal schooling herself. She drove cars and flew planes and worked her fingers to the bone, carrying two jobs when she needed to, running a ranch and teaching in her spare time. During the depression she sold moonshine out their back door (keeping it hidden under the baby's crib) to save their ranch. I loved this book and I would have loved to meet Lily Casey Smith. What a great American hero.

The Glass Castle
The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls

Rose Mary Walls (Jeannette's mother) had been raised to be independent, but she took that to an entirely different level. Probably bipolar, Rose Mary wanted to spend all her time making art, not raising children. So the children had to raise themselves. They didn't get groceries for weeks at a time...because Jeannette's dad Rex drank away any money they had, and Rose Mary couldn't be bothered to find a way to feed the kids. Nomads and rebels, Jeannette's parents took their kids all around the country, and they would flee towns in the middle of the night when her parents were unable to pay their debts. They slept in cardboard boxes and peed and pooped in a hole in the ground until it overflowed. This book has so many shocking stories...it's unfathomable that her parents would think how they raised their children was okay...but alcoholism and mental illness will do that.

Believing Cassandra: An Optimist Looks at a Pessimist's World, by Alan AtKisson

Alan AtKisson is a true optimist at heart. He reminds us about the Greek myth about Cassandra, who was blessed with the gift of prophecy but cursed because no one would believe the truth she had to share. And that is the essence of how we need to communicate about the perils facing our planet. When we preach doom and gloom, it's easy for people to turn us off and believe that nothing they can do can possibly help (I often find myself feeling the same way!). His aim is to give hope, and for all of us to find a way to be optimistic about the challenges facing our world. He urges us to break Cassandra's curse by giving people a reason to hope instead of letting the doomsayers take over the messaging. Because if that happens, no one will listen. This book has already helped me transform my thinking about how to communicate about sustainability, especially to those people who are unconvinced of the need to turn the tide.

Friday, April 24, 2015

V: Valiant Prayer for Boys and Girls of Other Sexual Orientations


I did add the word "valiant" to fit this prayer into my A to Z. Creative license!

But seriously. This is a personal passion of mine, creating safe and welcoming places for LGBT people to call home. The church has wrought so much damage and pain, and we have so much apologizing to do. I am so proud of my own church, ELCA Lutherans, for voting to affirm and allow rostered gay clergy and in Oregon, to support same-sex marriage enthusiastically and wholeheartedly. It's the right thing to do, to welcome all, and it's what Jesus Christ would do himself.

Valiant Prayer for Boys and Girls of Other Sexual Orientation than Mine

Brothers and sisters, I did not understand the pain and strain of your lives. I did not know the humiliation you endured. I did not know nor did I even try to know the fear of being cast out from your family and your friends. 

I did not know what it was like to be insulted and castigated and beaten for the crime of being yourself. I did not know what it was like to be welcomed in word but not in deed in my Church.

I did not know the trepidation with which you spoke honestly of who you were for the first time. I did not know nor did I try to know.

I made scurrilous remarks myself, once upon a time. I casually tossed slurs for comic effect. I stand here ashamed and abashed. I ask quietly for your forgiveness. 

I pray for your calm courage and your patience with us who were cruel and dismissive and ignorant and worse. I ask this of the One who once assumed a form like ours, and in that form was insulted and castigated and beaten for the crime of being Himself. 

I pray that the slow changes I see now in our country and in our species are a sign of our progress another inch toward love; which is why we are here, brothers and sisters. And so: amen.

Here's more information on why I chose this focus for the A to Z, and you can read all my 2015 A to Z posts here. I hope you enjoy the celebrations of the miracle and muddle of the ordinary! 

You can buy the book at Brian's favorite local bookstore, Broadway Books, at Powell's Books, or on AmazonBrian's work is used with permission of Ave Maria Press.

U: Utterly Forgotten That Their Jobs Are Finally About Feeding and Clothing and Protecting and Schooling Children


Safety net. It's not meant for the politicians, but for the least fortunate in our society. Nowadays, too many people (mostly men) are attracted to politics for the attention and glory, not because they want to serve society. They don't notice the homeless man working in the Senate

They seek votes by making the poor into villains, such as the proposed legislation to restrict welfare recipients from spending money on luxuries. (HOW MANY WELFARE FAMILIES GO ON CRUISES OR EAT STEAKS??) And who is going to suffer the most from the three-year limit on welfare benefits? The children. 

What boggles my mind is that these politicians who craft bills to penalize the poor actually profess to be Christians. The Bible is clear on this topic. If anything, Christianity glorifies the poor and downtrodden. It doesn't vilify them. 

U: Desperate Prayer for Patience with Politicians with Excellent Suits and Shoes and Meticulous Hair and Gobs of Television Makeup Who Have Utterly Forgotten that Their Jobs Are Finally about Feeding and Clothing and Protecting and Schooling Children 

They are driving me stark muttering bubbling insane. They are nattering and preening. They are dissembling and speechifying. They are evading the question and mouthing empty slogans. They are attacking straw men of their own devising and calculating market share.

Their words are wind and dust and meanwhile children starve and are raped and have no beds and teachers and doctors. They say they will do things and they do not do these things. They appeal to the worst in us so as to be able to make money.

They send children to war though they have never been in war and do not know the savagery of what they are sending children to do. They abuse the power and sneer at the poor and condescend to the elderly and lie about their motivations and their biographies.

They would happily soil every lake and river and pond and creek and rivulet with every imaginable searing death-dealing chemical if there was enough money in it for them. They would foul every square meter of air with choking smoke and ash if there was enough money in it for them. They do not care about our children and our children's children.

They pose for photo opportunities on the way to church but they do not feed the hungry and clothe the naked and house the homeless and slake the thirst of those who are desperate.

Dear sweet Lord, give me the patience to be reasonable and call them calmly to account. Give them the startle of guilt and the ripple of shame. Make sore their consciences and shiver their arrogance so that they may puncture it themselves and so begin to achieve humility and be of actual honest genuine service to the least among us. This we pray, trying not to snarl overmuch.

And so: amen.

Here's more information on why I chose this focus for the A to Z, and you can read all my 2015 A to Z posts here. I hope you enjoy the celebrations of the miracle and muddle of the ordinary! 

You can buy the book at Brian's favorite local bookstore, Broadway Books, at Powell's Books, or on AmazonBrian's work is used with permission of Ave Maria Press.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

T: Protestants of Every Tradition


For the past 25 years, I've belonged to a one-of-a-kind progressive faith community of Lutherans and Catholics, Mission of the Atonement. No other such church exists. It's hard to imagine going anywhere else, and it especially fits our family since I was raised Lutheran and Mike was raised Catholic. Members of our church long for a day when we can worship together freely with no divisions. To learn more about our church, read this blog post I wrote on our 25th anniversary in 2011. We are a collective of people who constantly ask, as Brian Doyle suggests, "what if?"
Easter at Mission of the Atonement
T: Prayer for Protestants of Every Tradition
How tempting to say bluntly here, what is it you are Protesting against now? The vast bloody greedy corporation that was the Catholic Church centuries ago is no more; we no longer conduct wars, or sell coupons to heaven, or murder our enemies, or run other nations from behind the robes of kings. 

This is not to say we have no flaws; but are our flaws so unlike those in your tradition? Could it not be that the time has come, as the late John Paul II himself suggested, that we join forces again under the flag of the Judean rabbi?

We apologize for our sins; we admit that Martin Luther was right; we remind you Anglicans that you were Catholic before an English king cast lustful eyes elsewhere than he should, and bent a religion to his purposes; 

we wonder with affection and respect and reverence for your grace and creativity, if there's a way for us all to gather back under the same huge tent; we note that if we did so there would be some two billion of us, which is a remarkable number of people devoted to peace and mercy and service to the Christ in every heart; 

and even as we acknowledge the thorny theological and logistical issues, we ask politely that at least for the next few minutes you ponder this: What if? And so: amen.

Here's more information on why I chose this focus for the A to Z, and you can read all my 2015 A to Z posts here. I hope you enjoy the celebrations of the miracle and muddle of the ordinary! 

You can buy the book at Brian's favorite local bookstore, Broadway Books, at Powell's Books, or on AmazonBrian's work is used with permission of Ave Maria Press.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

S: Sisters Generally Also Known as Nuns (of all Religions)


This week the Vatican finally dropped its war against American nuns. As I wrote back in 2012, "Talk about a case of misplaced priorities and ignoring the cancer right in front of its nose, instead choosing to pop that irritating pimple that just won't go away...the pimple of faithful women who work day in and day out for social justice, serving the poor and disadvantaged across the world." 

Brian Doyle's uncommon prayer for nuns parallels much of what I wrote back then: "What kind of message is the Vatican sending by bullying the nuns instead of disciplining those who have forsaken human justice and compassion by protecting their own in lieu of protecting innocent children?"

Prayer for Sisters Generally Also Known as Nuns (of All Religions)

With my favorite nun, my husband's late
Aunty Gena, at her 50th Jubilee
Because those are the coolest bravest most humble most relaxed and funny religious people there are. Fact. Because they are in my experience the most humble and amused religious people I ever saw.

Because they have never been charged with thousands of rapes worldwide. Because they generally abjure power, as far as I can tell.

Because they have happily changed with the times and they come out from their convents and cloisters and stay focused on Jesus' original mission statement better than any other religious people I ever saw.

Because they are generally brilliant but do not think they are cool. Because the best of them have said to me, when I ask about the precipitous decline in vocations among them, it's not a disaster, it's a great opportunity for new work!

Because it seems to me we Catholics trust and admire nuns more than any other religious people I know. Because like priests and brothers they took the original mission statement so to heart that they swore and vowed their lives in service to it, which is amazing and astonishing and we do not sing and celebrate that enough.

But let us do so, this morning. And so: amen.

Here's more information on why I chose this focus for the A to Z, and you can read all my 2015 A to Z posts here. I hope you enjoy the celebrations of the miracle and muddle of the ordinary! 

You can buy the book at Brian's favorite local bookstore, Broadway Books, at Powell's Books, or on AmazonBrian's work is used with permission of Ave Maria Press.

Monday, April 20, 2015

R: Recycling Truck


Just in time for Earth Week: a celebration of recycling trucks!

Portland is on all sorts of lists as one of the country's (or even the world'sgreenest cities, and this is partly due to Portland's dedication to recycling. After all, Oregon was the first state in the country to enact a bottle bill in 1971 (we pay a deposit when we buy bottled or canned beverages and receive the money back when we return them).

The City of Portland set a goal to reduce waste and raise the recycling rate to 75 percent by 2015. Not only do we recycle the usual newspaper and glass, but we also recycle yard waste, mixed paper, and some plastics, and we even compost food waste. Garbage is picked up every other week to encourage recycling and composting. 

We are so obsessive about our recycling that, of course, Portlandia made a sketch about how to sort your recycling

Curbside service makes recycling easier, so yes, I'm thankful for that noisy recycling truck. We shouldn't take it for granted.

Prayer for the Incredibly Loud Recycling Truck that Comes at Dawn Every Thursday Morning

Which thank God it does, for can you believe we used to throw all that stuff out? Those groaning barrels of paper and cardboard and plastic and glass and lawn clippings and dead fronds from the cedar and fir trees?

But every Thursday morning at dawn or sometimes before dawn here comes that vast epic roaring truck, and I lie abed and listen as the guys leap off from where they are hanging on the sides, and they chaff each other as they haul buckets, and then the truck uses its vast arm to pick up the biggest bucket and flip it, and there's a huge crash as everything lands amidships, and then the truck grumbles on down the hill (I can hear the gears shifting if I listen sharp) and everytime I think, Lord, thanks for those guys, and keep their backs strong, and thanks for giving us the wit to finally realize we cannot continue to trash the world You dreamed into being.

Thanks for giving us the brains to begin to figure out ways to stop committing the sin of stealing clean air and clean water from our children.

And I pray quietly, as I get up to ponder the miracle of coffee, that it is not too late for us to clean the miracle You handed us like a glowing green jewel, so long ago. And so: amen.

Here's more information on why I chose this focus for the A to Z, and you can read all my 2015 A to Z posts here. I hope you enjoy the celebrations of the miracle and muddle of the ordinary! 

You can buy the book at Brian's favorite local bookstore, Broadway Books, at Powell's Books, or on AmazonBrian's work is used with permission of Ave Maria Press.
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