The coffee’s on

Even in the dreary rain, Selma draws me uptown. I cross the tracks after the morning CSX train passes, park and open the visitor center. The “Shop Small” welcome mat drip dries on the railing while I drag the "Selma Art Pop-Up" sandwich board to the sidewalk. Inside the cold Jernigan building, I turn the sign to... Continue Reading →

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Divided

I was leaving Pine Level, driving toward Selma one morning when I saw this tree: A hardwood splayed into a painfully widespread “Y” by a utility crew in a bucket truck. I get why it was trimmed. It was a preemptive strike, to protect utility lines before the hurricane. And indeed, Florence unleashed devastation on eastern... Continue Reading →

Twitter theologians

Every morning I sit down with coffee to read meditations and compose my own. I check social media and today I realized how many theologians I've been following. Their tweets are funny or serious, but always challenging -- to be present, to be aware, to take action, to share the Good News. Here are six of my favorites: Tim... Continue Reading →

Starting at the grassroots

I’m just now sitting down to knock out my August blog post. With good reason! I spent the last four weeks working on a grant, and we won it! This is the fourth time I’ve competed for an arts grant to help weave a creative community in Selma, North Carolina. My first three attempts –... Continue Reading →

Crowder peas and crossing counties

Crowder peas. Why did that sound familiar? By the time I got home from the Farm Fresh Market in Zebulon, North Carolina and had them shelled in a bowl, I remembered. Tayari Jones talked about them in her novel, An American Marriage. They represent a southern dish one of her characters had been craving. I... Continue Reading →

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I love farmers markets. There’s something about coming home with an armload of rich and flavorful tomatoes or zucchini that feels like I just picked them from my own truck garden on the farm -- without all the work. On Saturday, I went to the Clayton Farm & Community Market at Horne Square, 348 E. Main Street in downtown... Continue Reading →

River of Books

A few years ago, a group of artists filled an entire city street in Toronto with open books -- talk about traffic calming! The interactive exhibit lasted the 10 hours it took for spectators to immerse themselves in it and self-dismantle it, taking the books home. The photo is from a slide show about the installation... Continue Reading →

Wandering

The wind in this part of eastern North Carolina is choppy and unrelenting sometimes. What is good for the land and wildlife can knock my wind chimes down and chip paint off lanterns. After three seasons of picking up shingles in the yard, I decided it was time for a new roof.  The shingles arrived on a pallet... Continue Reading →

Selma at the Crossroads

Last year, I volunteered on a series of events to help the Town of Selma, North Carolina commemorate its 150th year. I am honored to have a poem I wrote, "Selma at the Crossroads," included in the town's time capsule. The capsule will be sealed for the next 100 years with other items, like copies of Johnston Now magazine,... Continue Reading →

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