Stalking Annie Dillard

“Stalking is a game played in the actual present.” —Annie Dillard

I often go for walks during my lunch breaks, and when I do, I’m usually reading. I learned this method of multi-tasking as an English major with more books to read in one semester than I could stuff in my backpack. Now that I’ve graduated and gotten a “grown-up job,” I have to fit reading in whenever I can. “Read-walking,” as I call it, allows me to get some fresh air, exercise, and a daily dose of good storytelling. (more…)

Hiking Badger

From a distance, Badger Mountain looks like a barren pile of dirt crowned with cell phone towers. There are no waterfalls, cliffs, or forests—not even a single tree. Yet there is beauty here, and life in abundance, but you have to let go of your expectations of beauty to really see it. (more…)

The Kid and the Canal

I’ve heard stories of children drowning in canals. A canal runs past my apartment complex, and it doesn’t seem threatening, yet I’ve heard these man-made streams can be deceptive and treacherous. This one was emptied several months ago with the approach of winter, but during the warmer months it was full of water and life. Green moss billowed on the rocky bottom, ducks dove to catch small fish, and my wife once saw a muskrat scuttle to the water and swim upstream. (more…)

The Tale You Did Not Know You Needed to Know

In early December, the well-known author Brian Doyle did a reading at BYU-Idaho and visited the nonfiction class I was taking at the time. Meeting him and hearing him read his writing aloud was an incredible experience, and I realized that while our personalities and writing styles are different, our goals as writers are much the same. We both see our writing as weapons. We both see stories as food that can nourish the world.  (more…)

Why Stories Are Weapons

I am reading a collection of nonfiction essays by Brian Doyle called Grace Notes. Doyle’s writing is a nice balance between the lighthearted and the serious. Though his writing is sometimes goofy, he truly believes that “stories maybe save lives.” He knows his writing has the power to heal and to build. He also knows his stories are weapons, as shown in his essay, “What Am I Doing Here?” In part, this piece describes his desperate desire for justice in the aftermath of 9/11, in which three of his friends were killed: (more…)

“Walk in the Light of Your Own Fire”

Christ is our Light. Nothing we do can come close to recreating His Light. Our purpose is to follow the Light and reflect it into the lives of others. But many of us shun the Light, thinking our own artificial light is enough. This is like trying to exchange the sun for a light bulb. Both give light, but there is no comparison. (more…)

A Major “Aha” Moment

I love to think as I walk, especially when the sun peeks out on an unusually warm winter day. As I strolled through town, I realized that my external experience with my daily surroundings is actually very internal. When I looked at a building across the street, I was not really seeing the building; I was experiencing the image of the building, create by light entering my eyes, in my brain, in my mind. The entire experience happened inside my head. (more…)