Of all the pieces in Measuring Time & Other Stories (out this fall from Wiseblood Books), this is the only story not set in the Midwest. Rather, it is set in Portland, Oregon, where my wife and I lived for three years. This is also the story in the collection that most explicitly involves religious faith, and the lack thereof.
For the season of Lent, I removed Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram from my phone. I also didn’t use those platforms on other devices or my computer. I did make an exception for a handful of scheduled posts and tweets related to some lecture and readings I gave.
I chose this particular fast with the hope that I would be more present in whatever I was doing, would be more attentive to those around me. Going into this fast I feared missing out on “important things.” As it turned out, however, my fear was unfounded.
Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be a guest in classes taught by a colleague. As a part of her Religion & Literature courses, she assigned my poetry collection, Your Twenty-First Century Prayer Life. I visited both of her sections twice, with the one class session focused on the first half of the book and the other session focused on the second half.