Real Freedom is Not a Spa Experience

I wanted the quail to stay trapped. I was ten or eleven, and the quail had a broken wing. It was caught in our yard, where a low brick wall hemmed in the desert plants decorating the front of our house. I found the bird there one day, huddled next to a barrel cactus, and when […]

My Trigger? Passive Aggression

You know you’re not having a good parenting day when you urgently look up mental health articles at Psychology Today. In my case, I was googling strategies for dealing with passive aggression in kids—you know, the foot dragging, procrastination, selective hearing and snarky defensiveness that ensues when you ask kids to hang up their coat. […]

What I Learned Grocery Shopping in Buenos Aires

Here’s how a 20-year-old American student shops for groceries in Buenos Aires. She waits until she has absolutely no food left. She waits until she’s headed home from her last class of the day, usually after 9pm. She doesn’t eat dinner ahead of time. She races around the store, grabbing food frantically as her stomach […]

When Silence is Hard

I thought meditation would help me feel peaceful. I did not expect it to bring on a near panic-attack. I found the book on listening prayer in my church’s library, a slim paperback, a good twenty years old. I was in my last year in college, a year before I realized I was depressed and […]

Even If My Chicken is Dry

One of the biggest miracles of my life happened while playing a game at my friend Pablo’s birthday. It was well after midnight when the game started. About twenty of us sat in a circle of chairs in the main room of his house. We’d eaten pizza and empanadas, drunk a few liters of Coke, […]