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From the Recesses – Salting the Ocean

My grandmother died in late January of 2005, at 93 years of age. The day before she ended this dance, she and I were planning her 94th birthday party and joking about the hospital food. Sometime in the evening a nurse came in and said the doctors wanted to start her on a morphine patch, but Grandma was reluctant because she “didn’t want to become an addict.” I always loved that line. A bit later on, as I was getting ready to leave the nursing home for the night, I told Grandma that I’d be getting together with my cousin Colleen, Aunt Bev’s youngest daughter, that night and that I’d likely have a bit of a hangover the following morning. I told her that I’d try to be in by noon the next day. She lifted her arms, pretending to pick up a pad of paper, and said “I’ll see if I can pencil you in.” We both laughed and I kissed her goodbye. There’s something defining about our relationship that the last words we

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Featured Story – September 11, 2011

Earlier this spring news reached out from a mountain city in Pakistan to my small apartment in Guatemala, as it did all over the world, that Osama bin Laden was dead. I was alone as the message first appeared on the Facebook page I let idle in the

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From the Recesses – An East Facing Rock

Back when I was a teenager one of my favorite words was “cosmic.” It’s kind of embarrassing now, but I’m sure you had your own silly colloquialisms, so no harm done. I remember many “cosmic” moments in the adolescent years: like when Craig and I wandered up to

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First Person Shooter – Road Rage in Rajasthan

ElvisMaharaja

On New Year’s Eve, I finished a glass of wine and requested another from a passing footman as His Highness Gaj Singh II, the Maharaja of Jodhpur, stepped to the rostrum overlooking the wedding party and lake below. The white fabric of his turban trailed down his six-foot frame

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Traveler’s Journal – Discussing Deng

Photo of The Li River and Mountains by the Author

I rolled out of bed at 12:30 in the afternoon. I felt down, but couldn’t put my finger on exactly why. Probably nothing more than a bout of traveler’s angst, that sinking feeling of suddenly wondering why the hell you are so far from home, so alone without

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Guatemala 101 – Say Goodbye to Ms. Paz y Paz

Claudia Paz y Paz

Frumpy. Frizzy hair. Not necessarily the two things you would immediately think when conjuring mental images of an attorney general who put the temor de Dios, the fear of God, into disgraced national leaders and deadly international criminals. Dr. Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey looks more like the aunt

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The Adventures of Pissy Jesus – Part IX

pissy jesus 8 (1)

When we last left Pissy Jesus, He and His disciples — and several Pharisees in disguise — were in Judea. After calling out Nathan, the fake Pharisee disciple, Jesus discussed with his followers the rather clearly stated impossibility of a rich man entering the Kingdom of Heaven. They had

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