Contagion: Resilience of the Backcountry Elders

A saintly friend who ‘squandered’ much of her life caring for the disabled in the Kalahari once described to me what the HIV/AIDS pandemic had done to her settlement. ‘We are punch-drunk with sorrow and loss,’ she said, ‘as though pummeled by a heavy-weight fighter round after punishing round.’  This nun had no interest in … More Contagion: Resilience of the Backcountry Elders

Contagion: What Pandemic Hath Wrought

As contagion stalks our planet, cities shuttered behind cordons militaires, cruise ships denied port or anchored in a sea of troubles, and hospitals ominous with taut, costumed creatures, a back story has been mass flight in search of safety.  An early report estimated that nearly half of Wuhan’s 11-million population fled as the handwriting went … More Contagion: What Pandemic Hath Wrought

Mandela* Moment of Truth: Rite of Passage to Calling and Glory

The treeless hills of South Africa’s Eastern Cape roll down to the Indian Ocean where they form the Wild Coast: the sea, the wind and spray pounding a rocky shore.  Here and there lie pocket beaches where rivers tumble down to meet the surf. That beauty has attracted seaside resorts and casinos for the well-heeled, … More Mandela* Moment of Truth: Rite of Passage to Calling and Glory

Mother of All Roadtrips XI: Herati Hookahs and Heady History

In a class by itself as historical crossroads go, within Herat’s crumbling walls and precincts hangs a brocade of culture with few equals in the world.  Where else might you find cheek by jowl a citadel of Alexander the Macedonian, records of Nestorian evangelists, tombs of Timur’s martial descendants, traces of Persian poets and philosophers, … More Mother of All Roadtrips XI: Herati Hookahs and Heady History