Lat, Long The people and places that shape us.

Packing Light

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44.597260,
  110.273547
Packing Light

“An obstacle course for the body and for the soul”, I think to myself as I go back to that place. In my memory, the wind has picked up in the early twilight, kicking around rusty sand and pebbles. While hard to find on a map, these arid grounds have welcomed pious visitors for centuries. Even more have come here in absentia—not with their boots, but with their minds, their remembrances, their longings to take shelter in the space where the holy meets the profane. Gazing at at the setting sun, I remember… Read More

The Duel

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42.021093,
  -91.655999
The Duel

Every Sunday morning I sat on an ugly floral couch in the living room of my great-grandparents’ house. Seated in the armchair next to me was my great-grandfather – once a strong man, he was now weakened by age, forced to rely on a cane to help him walk, but his mind was still as bright and witty as it had always been. It was his mind that made me. Read More

Bridging the Divide

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8.676573,
  80.636473
Bridging the Divide

The sun was slowly climbing the early morning sky as I roared down the A29 on the back of a motorcycle. The morning was hot and we had been on the road for about three hours.

The roads were in a state of disrepair after decades of civil war. Between the monsoons and mortars, many parts of the highway were seemingly missing. Twisted metal from blown out vehicles littered the side of the road, remnants. We did our best to navigate, avoiding craters left from bombs that had landed in the region. Read More

Up the Mountain

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39.681615,
  -77.356272
Up the Mountain

I had never been drunk before the first weekend of beginning college. I got hammered off cheap tequila and watched this kid face-plant into my friend’s lap. He was talking crazy, about fireflies and ghosts in the graveyard up the mountain, about a quarter of a mile from the school. Read More

Turning Point

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57.682996,
  11.960416
Turning Point

The one who never loses her appetite has lost her appetite.

I only feel nauseous when I think about him, but I think about him all the time. It’s been a month. I’m still wearing his t-shirt, the one I was wearing when he said it and I left in a hurry.

It’s pretty dirty by now. Read More

Lungs

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36.412964,
  -80.252388
Lungs

Our lungs are ravenous. They seek to devour and heave and drench themselves in the sweet aromas of atmosphere. Their tongues wrap around the smog of the streets, the perfume of a lover, the dew along the pines. Most importantly, they communicate with nature. Read More

Into the Woods

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46.192695,
  -91.867440
Into the Woods

We’d pack the car after my dad returned from work – a family of weekend warriors headed north. The three hour drive was punctuated by several notable landmarks: the state prison, the outlet mall, the hamburger place, the life-size lawn chair, fireworks, suicidal deer and – finally – the cabin. Read More

Sitting on Suitcases

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52.524368,
  13.390639
Sitting on Suitcases

“Enschuldigung?”

I stared blankly.

“Hallo! Sprechen Sie Deutsch?”

When her question only intensified the blankness of the staring, she started again.

“You speak German?” she chirped hopefully.

Though it’d be hard to believe at this point, I answered—“Ja! So ein bisschen.” Yes. A little. Read More

Bye and Bye

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45.523452,
  -122.676207
Bye and Bye

There’s a place in the world that my heart took as home long before I ever considered calling it that. In a window seat, on the right kind of day, a certain few mountains reach up and out of clouds to beckon you nearer an oasis of earth and hip. Read More