December 2016
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Brett Ropes

on October 16th, 2016 by mark

He was tall and lanky and had dark hair and bright eyes. Brett was an athlete, he had been since he was a boy, and he carried it with him into his 40’s as he continued to be an avid golfer and surfer. We met 20 years ago for the first time when he subbed […]

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Posted in Family, Work/writing life

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“…Or you can love…”

on July 11th, 2016 by mark

The hand that reaches down to save you is never the one you expect. The salvation we seek looks so very different from how we’ve fashioned it in our imaginations–how we’ve worked over its edges and smoothed them with our memories and reflections of time. A world without Edd Hendricks is a sad world for […]

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Edd Hendricks

on May 15th, 2016 by mark

Pray without ceasing. Even when you don’t mean it. This is raw and unrefined and I may come to refine it later–and I may not. I just don’t know. For your information: This is not an obituary. I’ve written those. They are measured and temperate. This is not. Edd Hendricks died in a maelstrom of […]

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Everything has changed. And nothing has changed.

on May 4th, 2016 by mark

It is a first, I’ll admit–at least it is for me. It has to be the first time in my lifetime–and certainly the first time in my adult-life–that I just don’t care. I don’t care about Mr. Trump. I don’t care about Mrs. Clinton. I don’t think either is good for the country–nor do I […]

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A grace of time

on March 26th, 2016 by mark

For almost 10 years, I’ve identified myself as a writer. Publicly and even privately, I’ve indicated that I’m a journalist, a writer and a reporter. I have business cards that say so. My social media profiles indicate it. I have bylines in the New York Times, the San Jose Mercury News, the Ventura County Star, […]

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Sunday dogs

on March 6th, 2016 by mark

So much time and in such little parcels that it escapes. Like Simon, running off leash across the park into a barranca and up the hill on the other side to see the Sunday dogs in their yards. He leaps the distance across the small canyon with almost animated prowess. It’s as though he isn’t […]

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Heresy

on December 29th, 2015 by mark

I thought I was a geek. I saw Star Wars IV: A New Hope 22 times before I quit watching it. I owned all the little action figures. I had the X-wing, a tie-fighter, a Bespin Twin Pod and a land-speeder. I had Luke, Han, Leia, Chewy, Threepio and R2. I had a Star Wars […]

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Virginia Varner

on November 25th, 2015 by mark

Fireflies, fall, family and faith. Aunt Virginia is all of these things to me and she remains as strong, as fervent a presence in my memory and mind as ever she did. Virginia Varner, my Aunt, my dad’s sister who was such a huge presence and part of my life, died suddenly on November 7. […]

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A long winter’s nap

on November 1st, 2015 by mark

So fervent have I been in search of, in need of a break, that I didn’t even write about the break. Allow me to change that. The short version, so as not to bore you, is that in 2007, I went into spring semester wondering what I’d do for the summer. I didn’t want to […]

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A game of Faith’s Perfection

on September 20th, 2015 by mark

With apologies to Gus Van Sant, Sean Connery and Rob Brown, last night’s Pittsburgh Pirates at Los Angeles Dodgers game was for me, a distinctively faith-based enterprise. I’m relatively new to baseball mania. As a kid, I went to a few games, my first was at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh in 1974. The Cardinals […]

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