American Studies

“And we pray, not for new earth or heaven, but to be quiet in heart, and in eye clear. What we need is here.” 
~Wendell Berry, from The Wild Geese

For the spiritual but not religious

For the spiritual but not religious

You may know that my short book, The River Beyond the Dam: Shooting the Rapids of Progressive Christianity, is about a quest. The question was, "Is there a church for me?" A church that is inclusive, egalitarian, scholarship-infused, and vital--even fun. In the book I...

Giddy about the news?

Giddy about the news?

I am so all-fired happy this morning, and the trigger seems to be a couple of news stories. Have I gone around the bend in these somber times of Russian aggression and climate collapse? Possibly. You decide. One of the news stories comes out of the Upper Cumberland...

“Place” is not just where you hang your hat

“Place” is not just where you hang your hat

You are not deeply attached to a place until you know it thoroughly and accept it for what it wants to be. A bold statement you might argue with, but bear with me. Consider the dustbowl misery of the 1930s. The disaster on the Plains was created by policies marked by...

Catholic women priests ?

Catholic women priests ?

A growing number of devout Catholic women, feeling a strong call to serve parishes as priests, have as the price of their ordination, accepted excommunication. That's big. I generally don’t expect breaking news from the New Yorker, but the recent article, “Women on...

Church and the vaccine

Church and the vaccine

Quote of the day from a Southern Baptist church pastor: "It is necessary for pastors to instruct their people that we don't always have to be adversaries with the culture around us. We believe Jesus died for those people, so why in the world would we see them as...

Camp Song with Clementines

Camp Song with Clementines

Before COVID shut the gym,N***d she stood after her swim Singing a Russian campfire song.Me at an age, my memory long, Knew the tune and kept the beat.Words not found, I tapped my feet. A new voice now, the tune the sameChimed in Polish (!), kept the refrain. Round...

We the People

We the People

Fading I got this mug on a trip to Washington, D.C. in the early 1980s. That it still looks as good as it does is due to how well it was glazed (the inside still looks new). It says, with font matching the Declaration of Independence document, "We the People. . ." The...

Today I Deleted Facebook

Today I Deleted Facebook

The disclosures about Cambridge Analytica have influenced me to delete my FB account.  I know FB is important to many and will continue to be. My plea is to not let it take over politics. The manipulators aren’t dumb, and once they profile you they know what sort of message you (or others like you) are likely to believe. 

Ken Burns’ Vietnam Resumes

Ken Burns’ Vietnam Resumes

With the Vietnam series resuming tonight, I'm thinking, is it worth it? Worth the sobering sadness of continuing with the series.I say, "You ready to go to Vietnam?"He laughs as though he's read my thought. Oh yes, it's worth it, Tommy Lee Jones says, with a touch of...

Jean Waight

I write memoirs and essays, with a bit of fiction lying in a drawer. My work has appeared in the Red Wheelbarrow Writers anthology “Memory into Memoir,” in Cirque: A Literary Journal for the North Pacific Rim, in Ruminate Magazine, The Whatcom  Watch, and The Bellingham Herald. My sociological research was published in Research in Social Stratification and Mobility. I live with my husband in northwest Washington surrounded by tall trees.

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