Andrew's blog

Victor Frankl - Finding Meaning and Purpose

When I was eighteen years old in the spring of 1968, in a book store on the square in Racine, Wisconsin, I found a little book titled Man’s Search for Meaning, by philosopher and psychotherapist Victor Frankl. The author survived Auschwitz during the Second World War. He emerged from the death camp having lost everything that mattered to him. His beloved wife was dead, his family was dead, almost all of his friends or acquaintances were dead or dying.

Nero d’Avola

My favorite bottle of red wine is labeled Nero d’Avola. The Sicilian name translates as Avola Black, referencing that in the past this was a much stronger and syrupy wine used to fortify weaker reds. New techniques of viticulture and harvesting have dramatically improved the wine, which is now similar to Syrah. I was introduced to Nero d’Avola visiting my daughter Amber when she lived in Sicily for a three-year research project interviewing Italian fishermen.

Where is my church?

I grew up in a Southern fundamentalist preacher’s family, and as a 12-year-old declared that God had called me to be a preacher. But then, decades ago, I decided that I couldn’t possibly be a Christian if being a Christian meant being intolerant, bigoted, and hypocritical, if it meant being unconcerned about poverty and racism, disdaining the protection of God’s creation, and worshipping massive, organized violence in defense of a bloated and unjust empire.

The Passing of Oscar the Poodle

Oscar died early on Saturday morning. Oscar was our elderly black standard poodle, and a dear heart. The proximate cause of death was bloating, but the real cause was old, old age. Oscar was 14 years old, a dignified and respectable age for a sizable dog. Relatively sizable, that is. Oscar was quite tall for a dog, and from the side he looked imposing when his hair was grown out and poufy. Nonetheless, he was only an inch or so wide, and when you viewed him from the front or rear he virtually disappeared.

Poetry, and the Beginning of Voices in Wartime

Interview Questions for Andy Himes from Joy Helmer, Peace By Design Blog

Q: Was there a particular event that that fueled your desire to make the film Voices in Wartime? Do you have a personal experience of or reaction to war that made this film something that had to get made—and by you? What fueled the passion in the film, the anthology and the project, to create a less violent world and to heal the trauma caused by war?

My monologue, and the painful topic of race

I have been developing an extemporaneous monologue based on my memoir Revival, and last Tuesday I first performed my monologue in public, at Richard Hugo House in Seattle, on the same day Barack Obama gave his extraordinary Philadelphia speech about race. Barack said that while he condemned and rejected certain views of his black pastor, he could no more disown Rev. Wright than he could his black community or his white grandmother who had expressed her own bigotry.