Essays

It seemed to be the thing to do to create a separate page for the link to the various essays (essays are my writing format of choice). Yeah, okay, you could click on the category, but do you really want to scroll through everything? This is cleaner, a list. Some of them are more formal or academic than others. — VKS

Castle Rock — A personal narrative essay I wrote about childhood in New Hampshire.

Civilization De-railed: Lessons of the Holocaust — A paper on the sociology, morality, and theology of the Holocaust.

The ultimate faith…put to the ultimate test — How could Abraham come to the place of being willing to sacrifice Isaac?

Little “fishys” and lost souls — Reflections on eating disorders and recovery for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2013

Wind in my sails — And what happens when people heed the call to follow God outside their cozy, comfortable box? With the Holy Spirit as the wind in his sails, they “do something beautiful for God.”

Trying to “be still” — Some seasons of life are more frustrating than others. My thoughts and questions on a season of illness.

Treasure what is precious, desire what is best — In response to my repeated illness and to “Trying to ‘be still,'” a friend of mine commented: “Wish you could wake up in 2014…it’s got to be better.” This was my reply, on life, love, time…and everything that makes life worth living.

On my knees — My recounting and impressions the weird providence that brought me to the place of kneeling through an entire Chrism Mass (think “wedding” but for priests) in a full standing-room-only crowd at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles.

On meme culture and the Patriot’s Day 2013 Boston Marathon bombing — My immediate response to the Patriot’s Day 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. This is largely a commentary on the new meme culture of collective response to disasters. I also give my take on that, and offer one beautiful meme (not created for this disaster) as what I still view to be the best attitude response to this — and all — disasters.

Sad day — Reflections on the death of a beloved guinea pig who belonged to my sister (and who was the last of the herd of her pigs that lived with me for over a year when she came back to California in 2008). This is also a reflection on the beauty and preciousness of life.

33 — My reflections on turning 33 (my thoughts from the day before are in Farewell to 32). A retrospective on a VERY difficult year, good and bad, but also a celebration of life. I asked and addressed the following:

At some point the question that needs to be asked, wrestled with, reckoned with is: what’s the point? What gets you up in the morning? Why bother getting up in the morning at all? What’s going to get you out of bed tomorrow morning?

Are you living life for yourself?

Are you living life for others?

Are you living life for God?

Are you living at all?

Are you merely alive and muddling through?

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3 thoughts on “Essays

  1. Hey Val! Just noticed I was on your ‘Other People with cool perspectives on stuff’ list. Thanks so much! I really appreciate the follow. 🙂 You;re writing is really great, I’ll be keeping an eye on it. 😉

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