Sorting It All Out: The Many Meanings of Life

The answer to the question "What is the meaning of life?" is elusive for at least two reasons. The first is obvious: there is no one meaning. What life means is up to each individual to determine. But more importantly, it's elusive because people tend to look for it...

Running Home

  I've done my share of complaining about my hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri, since I moved away at 18, but there has always been one thing that redeemed it. Today, I'm adding another. Designed in 1918, the city's Parkway–a 26-mile stretch of greenspace...

Life, Unqualified

As a writer, qualifiers are useful. Words and phrases like "usually," "almost always," or "mostly" buy room for the likelihood that a statement will not always be true. Last night, as I often do, I was journaling about my failings of the day. Usually at the end of...

Homeward Bound: A Transplant's View of Southampton

Note: This essay is from the book Southampton St. Louis: An Unconventional History. For ordering information, go to tp://www.southamptonstl.org/history. Ellen and I moved into our Southampton house on Neosho Street in April 1999. She was about seven months pregnant...

Chase the Dragon: The Uses and Misuses of Memoir

We build our lives on lies. The stories we tell about our pasts are just that–stories. We either ignore the bad and romanticize the good or we ignore the good and exploit the bad. Either way, the result is less than truth. If I wrote my memoir in the traditional...

Generous to a Fault

I'm generous to a fault But it ain't no fault of mine Never gave a good goddamn 'Bout this, these, thou, or thine All I've got I gave away Never gave it any mind Yes I'm generous to a fault But it ain't no fault of mine My mama didn't raise no fool That's how it seems...