Desperately Seeking Dazzle

(Or How I Got My Groove Back) Social isolation is hard. A few weeks ago I reached the point of full blown existential crisis. I had been alone for over a month and there wasn’t much positive news coming in. It was hard to imagine the world, and life, after the pandemic. Many of my plans have been derailed and, not knowing what the future holds, I was feeling lost and dismayed. It felt like life as I knew it was over and I didn’t know where or how I would fit into the new world. I was telling a […]

The Importance of Lilacs

The lilacs are blooming. I can smell them through the open windows, their scent wafting into my home on a warm, gentle breeze. It’s a beautiful day and somehow that just makes everything more surreal, more strange. The outside world is coming in and, in these days of lockdown and disinfectants, that’s a dangerous thing. I know that I’m being silly, know that coronavirus isn’t carried on the wind like a leaf or a bird. I know that I’ve taken appropriate safety measures, and I still worry that I’ll wake up with a sore throat, fatigue, and decreased senses of […]

The New Normal

Everything is weird now. Ever since the world went on lockdown, it feels almost as though we are suspended in time. We don’t know when restrictions will be lifted or what the world will be like once they are. There are countless variables and, as we’ve been learning, the stakes are high. For many folks I’ve been talking to, there’s a feeling that we’ve reached a point where lockdown and social distancing is the new normal and not just temporary measures to keep us safe. The past is gone, and the future has yet to arrive; all we have is […]

Living History

Right now, as you read this, we are living history. What we are experiencing is unprecedented – a global pandemic that has quickly and dramatically changed the way we live. All non-necessary businesses in the state of Maryland are now closed. People across the world are now living in social isolation in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19. No one knows how long this will last or what will happen in the meantime. There are also questions about what the world will be like when this is over. These are uncertain times, which is why I’ve chosen to look […]

Inside the Secret Society

For the past two and a half years Ive been a member of a secret society. We are all around you, hiding in plain sight. It is a secret society of benevolent people, carrying out not-so-secret missions in broad daylight. Sometimes youll see the fruits of our labors, but most of our work goes unnoticed and, therefore, is often unappreciated. We are the caregivers. We are the people who take care of others. There are a lot of us out there, and you probably know one or more of our members. We are the people who take care of sick […]

A Community of Love

One of the things I like most about our community is that we are defined by love. It’s a simple notion that is also surprisingly complex. Unlike other communities that are defined by geography, beliefs, culture, and heritage, our community is a mishmash of members of all other communities, brought together because of who and how we love. Our community is defined by what’s in our hearts and through our actions we show the world that love is love and all love is equal. That doesn’t mean that love comes easily to us, though. Many of us were taught to […]

Not If, But When

I wondered when I would see him again – not if, but when. It’s a question that has lingered since my father passed away exactly four weeks ago and I returned home to a now empty house. My eyes were red from crying, my heart feeling both heavy and empty at the same time. I didn’t know what would happen next, but I knew somehow, instinctively, that I would see him again. It’s not that I’m an avid believer in the paranormal, though I know that’s how it may seem. I enjoy entertaining ideas about the existence of things we […]

The Last Story

My father was an outdoorsman. He called himself a hunter, and he was, but one-on-one he would confide that he really just enjoyed being in nature. As he got older, he began leaving his rifle in the truck before trekking through the woods to sit, surrounded by nature and alone with his thoughts for a few hours. Hunting was just a pretense, an excuse to wear camouflage and disappear into the trees. My father also liked to tell stories. I imagine he used his time in the woods to collect his thoughts and spin them into a yarn with just […]

The Spirit of Christmas

What does Christmas mean to you? Each of us experiences the holiday differently. Some of us throw ourselves into the hustle and bustle of the season, decorating and baking until we’ve created a winter wonderland that would make Santa himself blush. Others of us give our time, volunteering for causes that are close to our hearts. Some of us are more mindful of being “nice,” while others indulge their “naughty” sides at holiday parties. If you are a religious person, you’ve probably already made plans to attend one (or more) church services – after all, “You can’t spell Christmas without […]

The Golden Rule

“Our hair matches. We’re best friends.” These words came from my niece who, at three years old, is one of the happiest people I know. It was a beautiful bonding moment, one of the first in her young life that she fully understood that I am her uncle and not just a random stranger she sees from time to time. We were lucky to be able to capture the moment with a selfie (or seven), and her proud Uncle Brian has told everyone about his sweet, adorable niece and how her simple words melted his heart. Yes, it’s a great […]