We have been encouraged to write what is real and raw. It is gen-y speak for share some dirt, make it gritty. Show the angst. Show the hunger. Put the worst foot forward and let the dissonance linger. I asked Mr. Hirschy why we resort that kind of language. “Group think,” he reckoned. I asked a few others. One wondered if we haven’t lost a sense of artful nuance, found it impossible to write truth without perpetually ripping off Band-Aids. Another postulated that we have found buzz-words that give us a false sense of authenticity. Perhaps she is the most right.

Lord knows I have made some mistakes and by-golly I’ll write about them. But does that make me real? Am I real because of my ability to share gory details or because I’m willing to call the church a harlot? Is there something to be said for the nuance of medium-rare? Yes, there are some very fine medium-rare writers out there, folks I wish to be like one day.

Authentic. Nuance. It’s difficult to practice in this tangled web of the internet, but here goes nothing.

I like my job, think I could do it another twenty-five (give or take) even if I never reach the pinnacle.

As a kid I wanted to be famous, leave a mark on the world.

I was drawn by Amber’s Alabama accent, but that’s not what captured me.

I hope my children learn to love God and love others; I hope they learn the secret of contentment.

I have found it more satisfying to lead the five-year-old Sunday school class than to lead the congregation in worship.

When I was a child, I watched the Smurfs like a child; now they freak me out.

I fear suffocation.

I once drank a gin and tonic while the pastel colors of a Mozambique sunset faded behind the plateau; I think about that drink every day.

I had a dream about my grandfather last night; he loved my grandmother till the day he died.

*He who has ears, let him share in the comments. Who are you? What makes you up?