My Two Nights on a Hermitage Retreat.

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No electricity.
No plumbing.
No clock.
All wonderful.
I spent Monday afternoon through Wednesday morning in a space called Pacem in Terris, a spiritual retreat center in central Minnesota. Its roots are in the Catholic tradition and its doors are wide open. My seminary offered students a blessed discount rate for this experience and after discussing the opportunity with my wife, I elected to go. I’m so grateful to her for saying “Yes, and…” to this one. She elected to hold down the fort at home so I could try to surprise myself and be open to God surprising me, too.
What follows is a brief reflection on my hermitage experience. It’s stream-of-consciousness style and just as much about my processing the experience as it is hoping to entice you to try such an experience. Whichever reason shows through clearest, I hope you’ll enjoy. Stick around for a gallery of photos at the bottom of the post and you can click each photo for a much larger version and then scroll through them. You can also click any of the photos in this post for larger versions.
What Got Me There.
I needed a break. I’d been in full-time classes for six months straight. My supervisor is on sabbatical so I’ve

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What Is Your Petri Dish?

2013.01.16 What's Your Petri Dish
A petri dish is a small container used by scientists, usually biologists, to discover and explore cultured cells, plants, and so on.┬áIt’s usually, but not always, 100mm in diameter and 15mm in height. In 1887, it played a key role in discovering penicillin. While petri dishes come in different sizes and other variables scientists do great work with them. They’re only so big; they’re only so small. It’s a 100mm x 15mm constraint where the world is changed. A petri dish is

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Two New Ukuleles

I check Craigslist once a day for ukulele sales. I got lucky last week when I discovered a local musician not only had two ukuleles for sale, they were both unique and handcrafted. I present to you my new banjo ukulele and cigar box ukulele. Let’s start with the banjo ukulele because it’s the first … Read more Two New Ukuleles

I’m performing in the Chicago Improv Festival.

In case I have blog readers in the Chicago area (Do I have blog readers in the Chicago area? Leave a comment and let me know!), you can catch my solo musical improv showcase, The Uncle Ukulele Show this weekend at the 12th Annual Chicago Improv Festival (CIF). Catch me on Saturday, April 18 at … Read more I’m performing in the Chicago Improv Festival.

Denver Improv Festival – My Trip, Day 5

And that’s a wrap. I was first up for Saturday’s shows at the Denver Improv Festival and I was pumped. Here’s some thoughts on my show and the rest of the shows that evening: The Uncle Ukulele Show – I left the stage feeling good about my show. I had a fun crowd who seemed … Read more Denver Improv Festival – My Trip, Day 5

Denver Improv Festival – My Trip, Day 4

This post not only describes the rest of yesterday’s Denver Improv Festival events, but features the very first FOOTNOTES to appear here at The Scrawl! ((yay!)) Kelly and I ate at the Rock Bottom Brewery on 16th Street and Curtis for three reasons: 1. the food is okay, 2. it’s a block and a half … Read more Denver Improv Festival – My Trip, Day 4

Your Friday Recommendation #26

This one specifically goes out to those who write on their computers, and even more specifically to those who write on computers hooked up to the internet. Would you like to know how I wrote 2,000 words on my computer this morning? I wrote on a computer that was disconnected from the internet. I’m easily … Read more Your Friday Recommendation #26

I’m performing and teaching at the Denver Improv Festival

I received word a few days ago from the producers of the Denver Improv Festival (DIF) that I’ve been invited to perform my solo improv showcase, The Uncle Ukulele Show, and teach a youth-oriented improv workshop in the mile-high city this November. This marks my ninth improv festival appearance overall, my fifth performing The Uncle … Read more I’m performing and teaching at the Denver Improv Festival