front of The Cottage

The Cottage

Drop in. Sit down. This is a place to explore faith and spirituality. Especially for those who feel dissatisfied, discomforted, or uncertain about religion — and who need a different angle, a new view of things of the spirit. Here you’ll find both inspiration and thoughtful commentary. My door is open.

Notice: this space isn’t The Sanctuary or The Parsonage or even The Retreat. This is The Cottage. That’s because I’m not a clergy person or a paid religious professional. I’m a writer, speaker, and itinerant teacher.

And The Cottage is a real place in my backyard where I write, think, reflect, and even meditate and pray.

Virginia Woolf famously wrote that a woman needed a room of her own to write. My house is too modest for a separate office (I wrote two of my early books in my family room!), so we built this cottage in our yard to accommodate my library and my work. From here, I’ve written blogs, articles, essays, and books – and these days it serves as a makeshift television and recording studio! I look out of the Cottage to the garden and from there out to the world, which means that I view spirituality, religion, and faith from my backyard.

But unlike Virginia Woolf, I didn’t want to keep the cottage as my “own.” I wanted to open it up, invite in my friends and readers, to share the magic and the hard work of this space — and so I created The Cottage on Substack. Here, I’ll share what I’m writing, what trends I see, how faith is growing and changing, issues of concern, and things that I find interesting or challenging or beautiful. And, as The Cottage community grows, I’ll host conversations and threads so we can get to know each other — and share our questions, concerns, hopes, and gratitudes. It is good to have friends in these hard days. To feel less alone.

And, by way of full introduction, I am a Christian (even though that label is more than a bit awkward these days) and I write from that perspective, with a generous heart toward wisdom wherever it is found. The “creed” that guides me most closely aligns with these 1,000 year old words from the mystical poet Ibn Arabi:

There was a time I would reject those
who were not of my faith.
But now, my heart has grown capable
of taking on all forms.
It is a pasture for gazelles,
An abbey for monks.
A table for the Torah,
Kaaba for the pilgrim.
My religion is love.
Whichever the route love’s caravan shall take,
That shall be the path of my faith.

Or, in the simple words of Jesus: “Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself.”

Wherever you are on your journey, I’m glad your route has led to The Cottage.