Courtney T. Ball

Category - Life

Zit Karma and Other Superstitions

My wife and I believe in “zit karma”. The way it works is, if you point out a pimple on someone’s face, you are doomed to get an equal or greater blemish on your own. It’s the universe’s way of making sure you don’t become callous toward the dermatological misfortunes of others. It teaches us compassion. Zit...

A Place for Secular Christianity?

Last week I had a conversation with a man who is in the midst of planning a bar mitzvah for his son. This bar mitzvah will not be a religious ceremony or connected to a synagogue. Instead, it will take part in the context of a secular Jewish community called Sholem. Now, I have heard of secular Judaism before, but I hadn’t ever really...

No One is Normal

Photo by Hannah White Update: Corridor Characters is now live! Visit the site at www.corridorcharacters.com. Meet Edwin, an acquaintance of mine born in the Dominican Republic who now lives in Cedar Rapids, IA. You’d never know it by looking at him today, but Edwin grew up without much to eat. Here’s a quote from Edwin in which he...

In the End, There Was Only Love

Conservative. Old-fashioned. Persnickety. Judgmental. These are words I might use to describe my mom’s parents, Grandma and Grandpa Diller. Like many of their generation, they embodied the post-World War II belief that conformity, hard work, and discipline were what led to a successful life. Anything worth doing was worth doing right. The...

Let’s Not Be the Next Ferguson

Cedar Rapids faces a well-documented crisis of racial disparity. Like other sectors of society, our criminal justice system is proven to be disproportionately harsh toward African Americans. This reality prompts me to ask the question, how do we keep ourselves from becoming the next Ferguson? How do we right our ship before disaster...

Throwing Rocks at Ralph

I walked out the back door of my friend David’s house the other day—we always go in and out the back door; I don’t know why—and his big dog Ralph started barking at me like he always does. I think David says he’s a German Shepper or something like that. All I know is he has a lot of teeth and a scary bark, and if he ever got off his...