Collaboration with filmmaker Courtney Ware
I cannot remember a time when I beheld the wings of an atom
Or witnessed the scandalous birth of a molecule
I have never
Smelled the aftermath of osmosis
Examined the underbelly of a sunbeam
Beheld the unfurling of moss upon a bolder, like velvet eggs hatching
I cannot comprehend the color of the earth’s half-baked crust
Or mingle in the violence of its music
I cannot collect the fog’s granular enormity
Or follow the sun to know where it sleeps
I wish to hold infinity inside my two trembling hands
And let the dust of cosmic collisions seep into my epidermis
For now I will perch on the coattails of time
And learn to ask the right questions
And know the loveliness of being small when the sky is so big.
Freeing his hands from under the heaviness of little arms and legs, Fadi buried his face in his shirt. Everyone in the room sat together and wept. No one tried to speak to fill the silence.
This moment wasn’t about moving on, it was about understanding. It was about being human . . . and sharing in the communion of pain that we so often try to isolate.
This was a father weeping for children that were not even his own . . . for a life and a home that had been buried forever. We thought of our own families. Our own homes. Our own children. And we wept too.
He’s tall, sturdy-looking, thoroughly tattooed, and all at once, surprisingly unimposing. Clint Wilkinson, the visionary maker behind Bell and Oak leather goods, could easily fool you with his casual demeanor and soft-spoken Texas drawl. But his roots in leather-craft run deep, as does his passion for the emerging renaissance of the American-made movement. Ingrained in every notch of the signature hand-stamped Bell and Oak crest is a robust family legacy, six generations deep of Dentonites—both cowboys and artisans fueled by the indomitable spirit of the American pioneer. READ MORE
Photo: Sean Berry
Nestled beneath the steady gaze of Dallas’ iconic Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is Trinity Groves, the appointed threshing floor for the city’s latest and greatest offerings of aspiring culinary genius. Architecturally stunning at first sight, this aptly named row of storefronts serves as the “Holy Trinity,” of Big D’s burgeoning start-up culture--unilaterally ruled by Innovation the Father, Talent the Son, and Hope the Entrepreneurial Spirit. Here we find the happy stage for Kate Weiser, the twenty-eight-year-old chef-owner whose whimsical world of chocolate has the Metroplex swooning under its spell. READ MORE
Photo: Sean Berry
“I wanted to make her look pretty. Why shouldn’t I do it?”
Neetu’s mother glances down again as she combs her daughter’s hair, her hands rhythmically moving through each delicate, silky strand.
The only sound comes from a historic thoroughfare that is only a stone’s throw away from Neetu’s door. The tracks left from tires on the road are more ancient than time. They signify a pathway paved with a centuries-old ritual that has held her low-caste community in bondage . . . as slaves to one of humanities darkest evils.
“My mother did it for my elder sister when she turned 12 years old. Now it is my turn because Neetu is the oldest among my three daughters. It is my duty to get her prepared for her new life.”
In only a few days, Neetu will be turning 12. Like other firstborn daughters from her caste have done for hundreds of years, she will follow the Nari Mata tradition by joining her mother in a life of slavery and prostitution.
Fresh cup of hand-poured coffee in one hand and a notebook in the other, Kyle settles into a cozy tweed sitting-chair that faces the large front window in his living room, a welcoming portal to the Steed’s nook of a quiet and charming Oak Cliff neighborhood.
The pale morning light gently illuminates the rising steam from his brew, the ascending trails of vapor like the vague memory of a fire being coaxed into existence. He takes a sip and turns to a new page as two large Labradors—Samson and Ben—settle into their floor cushions, content for now to doze underneath the warm beams.
After a few long sips, he replaces his mug with a pen and begins to draw. Perhaps because of his stature, but most likely because of his characteristic attention to detail, Kyle leans over his work like a child engrossed in a book, never taking his eyes off the smooth lines of black ink, mouth slightly pursed under a thick beard of salt and pepper.
In more ways than one, Kyle’s work is characterized by these quiet, ordinary moments where contemplation meets the ruddy, familiar face of discipline. The subtleties of every pen flicker are landmarks down a well-worn path that the 30-something Alabama native has traveled down many times over a lifetime of doodling. READ MORE
Photo: Sean Berry
The silhouette of a figure can be seen perched at attention before the keys of a sleek black piano, unmoving. Before a sound is heard, she nods her head reassuringly, then summons a series of notes—robust yet slightly mournful-- from beneath poised fingertips. Her dangling earrings dance in time as she urges the music forward, the reverberations rising emphatically off the walls of the old house in a lone, swelling anthem. Below, the golden foot peddles move up and down with a familiar ease under feet belonging to Margaret Barrett, one of Dallas’ only female composers and a leading advocate for the city’s burgeoning music scene. Effervescent in personality and style, the unpretentious nose-ring-wearing artist is an unlikely character to cast in a long line of white-wigged musical prodigies. Even she admits candidly that by all logic and appearances, she shouldn’t be where she is today—creating music that has defined art, performance, film, and the like for audiences nationwide. A self-described “unwilling” casualty of her musical calling, Margaret’s journey as an artist has always been about moving out of isolation and into community, naming the unnamed, and embracing the abstract nature of her craft to unearth something familiar, something called “home”. READ MORE
Photo: Sean Berry
When you wake up in Guatemala, the mountains reach out to welcome you. Their sloping, ancient roots rise up like fingers from underneath a mossy blanket.
Outside is green and gold. The sky, pale and new like a bowl of milk.
Dizzy yellow light seeps through the clouds, spilling onto the lap of the valley and illuminating creamy wisps of vapor that have settled lazily on the treetops.
The quietness is sublime.
I used to think that all beauty was obvious and full of grandeur, like the mountains I woke to every morning in Guatemala. But over the course of my time there, I was reminded that beauty comes in many forms and is often found in the places and people you least expect it to inhabit. READ MORE
Writing is a way to live your questions meaningfully.
Write in order to know what you think . Words provide the conceptual scaffoldings on which your ideas can grow.
You don’t always have to be certain to write, just like you don’t always need to be certain to have faith. Struggle is necessary for both to grow. The objective of your writing (and your faith) is far more important than your steadiness in getting there.
It is possible to understand without knowing.