The Endless Watch

On fighting complacency in America.


A Project of Patient Endurance

Running and the spiritual life.

Killing the Buddha

Words to Live By

I got another tattoo. A black and gray owl with wise eyes rests on my right bicep. A locked heart lays on its chest. Its claws grasp the key. I get tattoos to mark the transitions, those shifts in my life that suggest nothing will ever be the same. Tattoos make endings and beginnings concrete.…

Killing the Buddha

Saint Frances and the Minimum Wage

What does Saint Francis have to do with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s proposal to raise the city’s minimum wage from $9.32 to $15 an hour? Other than befriending and becoming one of the poor, the Italian Catholic friar that preached to the birds has nothing to do with the lowest hourly remuneration in the birthplace…

"St. Moiras Candle IV," by Andrew Cornell Robinson.

Saint February

From Frequencies: a walk through Brooklyn turns into a credo.

Newark Peace Education Summit

War and Peace in Newark

On my way into the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, an agent of the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service made me take my camera out of my bag. “It’s a common ruse to pack C4 into a camera,” the agent told me, inspecting the device. Ruses in Newark are becoming increasingly common. Last November, a tight…

Most Holy Rosary.

The Desiccated Finger of Fate

I reported to the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center yesterday for an appointment in the Avon Foundation Breast Center(!). The first thing I saw as I exited the parking structure was what I assume to be an Episcopalian priest in a dog collar. Then, while I waited in the waiting room, considering just how ugly the…

Richard Smith as Henry David Thoreau. Photograph by Maria Lewis.

Becoming Thoreau

A living historian’s peculiar communion at Walden Pond.

Dylan's synagogue

Opportunity to Stalk Bob Dylan’s Bar Mitzvah

Calling all Bob Dylan fans: a once in a lifetime opportunity just surfaced on Craigslist! That’s right! For a limited time only, you can actually purchase a rare, reliquary piece of Dylan’s history: the synagogue building where Robert Zimmerman was first called to the Torah as a man. [Insert “Blowin’ in the Wind” parody here.…

Blessed John Henry Newman.

Blessed John Henry’s Religious Opinions

Saints are not literary men.

Killing the Buddha

The Temptation of St. Tony