Christian Experience Essay

My story is not smooth and straight but full of sharp, uneven points and rough, dirt-stained surfaces. My story hangs on the hinges of mercy and grace. My story is like a long, ardent race that I had not prepared for so my body has been worn and bears the scars from the injuries I […]


I need to write something, anything. But my thoughts only seem to fall into writing mode sometimes. Sometimes the world around me is flooded with rapturous joy Sometimes my most haunting fears are miles and miles behind me Sometimes a resounding symphony takes hold and captivates me Sometimes I’m paralyzed by the comfort of a […]

What is Community?

Dear Rose, I know where my greatest poverty lies. It is in my failure to find community. You see, community means being around people, sharing thoughts, and affirming one another’s existance. Without it the loneliness overwhelms and I start to think no one wants to hang out with me. Community means accepting one another where […]


If I am lost then come find me Weeping beside the willow tree On mountains high or by the sea Where brokenness is beauty If I am lost then set me free From prison cells made of me From the pain of self injury And the fear of what might be If I am lost […]

Keep Living, Clara

I made this recording as an introduction to the annotated Mozart journal I’m writing. The journal covers the onset of my mental illness and just before (2002-’03). She’s in France. She thinks she can stay there forever and that everything’s going to turn out all right. She has no idea what’s really about to happen. Here […]

Dear Rose,

You want to know something funny? I actually started writing this memoir when I was 22 and traveling around Europe with our French friend. I’d bought this Mozart journal in Salzburg at one of the Mozart museums and had begun writing about my past while on the train to Innsbruck. I didn’t really know why I was writing it. For me it was just a way to pass time. Not that my story was very interesting back then.

Another strange thing is that I haven’t kept a steady diary since 2008. That was the same year I stopped self-injuring, remember? Then I moved home and began transcribing all my diaries on the computer. Again I wasn’t sure why.

Then, last night I talked with another friend. I told him how hard it was remembering things and how the writing in my diaries was so much better than what I was coming up with now. So he told me to use my diaries and just fill in the blanks with narrative where narrative was needed.

I feel slightly guilty doing that because it seems kind of lazy to me. Maybe it is. But I’m doing it anyway. I’ll send you a copy of the Mozart journal when it is finished.


Dear Rose,

Fine. I admit. I’m writing a book and I have no idea if I’m doing it right or not. It’s my first time putting this much effort into it and it scares me to think that it might actually be terrible.

So why even bother? Why waste my time on something that could be the biggest failure of my life?

I don’t know. My mind frequently draws blanks when I try and remember the past. I have diaries to help me out but they’re sporadic. Still, when I wrote in the moment the words were almost poetic. It’s this forcing myself to write day in and day out that is driving me mad. This is a hobby, isn’t it? Shouldn’t I find pleasure in writing?

Head, meet the wall. Now scream! Not for real, mind you. Just imagine yourself doing it.

There, does that feel better?

No! I want the words to flow as easily as water over rocks in a stream. I want the muse to be strapped to my side every waking moment. I want the most precise and beautiful adjectives and adverbs to flutter onto the page and comfortably make their home there. I want to impress the critics to the extent that they beg me to write more.

WAIT! I have an idea. Rose, you’re going to like this, trust me.

A 26-Year-Old’s Crisis in Faith

 Disclaimer: I wrote this back in the autumn of 2006. Since writing it I’ve rediscovered my faith but in a much different light than before I lost it. Much of what I wrote back then is still true and I hope it sparks many dialogues about faith. We should not be made to feel we […]

To My Dear Old Friend

Written in my diary July 2, 2006 My Dear Friend, Because we cannot speak to one another; because we cannot see one another… I write to you. I write to you from the darkness of my prison; from my sea of guilt and shame I write to you. If the time has come when we must […]

Faith and Hyper-Religiosity - Part 1

Faith and Hyper-Religiosity – Part 1

Sunday morning my hands trembled. I’d woken up before dawn, my mind racing. So I decided to walk to church instead of taking the tram. It was kind of a long walk but I had time. In the crisp morning air I walked past memorials to the dead from various wars. But these were all […]

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