There’s nothing quite like it: being high up on a wall, just a rope to keep you from plummeting to the ground if your hands or feet slip. The rope and the person holding it.

I used to go indoor rock climbing occasionally when I was in high school. And I trusted my climbing partner. I knew when I said “falling” and let go of the wall, I wouldn’t hit the ground.

It’s hard to climb if you don’t trust the person belaying you. It makes you overly cautious. It keeps you from reaching out to that rock that you can probably sort of reach…. maybe. With her, I knew I could take the risks I wanted to. Even if I slipped, I was safe. (more…)


Last week, I spent a day in prison.

Except it’s not a prison any more. It’s a popular tourist destination now known as Alcatraz Island. Back in the day, it was where the worst prisoners were sent: bank robbers, murderers, and income tax evaders (mental note: taxes ain’t no joke).

Welcome to the Rock. (more…)