What to do with this grief over what happened to you? I don’t know, so I’m making a ritual.
Five-Foot, Fifty-Dollar Green Beauty
The sight of your friends’ faces illuminated by hot light, standing in a circle as flames leap into the air, as needles crackle and burst, as sparks fly, this image will stay with you. This moment feels holy.
Days Like Dominoes
My thoughts these days are fraught, frazzled little things still precious even though they are as clumsy and malleable as the playdough jewels my daughter likes to shape.
To Breathe for A Spell
I have never been more aware of my breath, of the simple act of breathing, than I have in this last year. The ability to inhale air and exhale carbon dioxide and other gases is a bodily function I rarely give thought to.
This simple act of caring for my home in order to prepare for winter feels like an absurd act of hope.
The Wrong Tape
I never did learn why that tape was hidden inside a Disney box at a block sale. But there is something both very wrong and very apropos about what happened.
I thought: What would the rabbis say about the giant inflatable colon? As a colon cancer survivor, will I ever see shit as just shit again?
Blossoms (Hadeish Yameinu)
How do I reclaim a holiday of liberation when I feel like I’ve spent the last year entrapped by a frightening cloud of uncertainty?
Meditating with My Father’s Friends
We were all there for the same purpose—to understand our own suffering and maybe find some relief.
Letters to friends, God, and Ms. O’Connor. Republished in honor of Briallen’s first book, Hard To Love: Essays And Confessions, out today from Bloomsbury.
A History of Protest: Learning to Leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses
Leaving the Witnesses can be a delicate, protracted affair. Not everyone can quietly disappear, like I did.
When Wax Softens, Light Shines Through
Purchasing the little nativity scene convinced me that I had unfinished business with the religion of my youth.