The Guiding Light

Cancer can magnify the darkness and light we all walk around with — the electricity that fuels a good day with our kids, and the bottom floor of our souls where we struggle with all that we are and all that we could be. The forces are always competing. But the crazy, beautiful thing about Sam Anthony is that he finds a way to let the light win. … More The Guiding Light

Converting the Shot

Charlotte Smith’s already spent part of a June evening in her Elon University office talking about the stuff that really matters: the lessons she’s learned since one improbable shot, a mere seven-tenths of a second in time, changed her life. How a win for the ages can turn into a long, expectant shadow, following you around for years after the last piece of confetti has fluttered to the court. How the world can shake you to your core, present death and divorce to you in a single year and dare you to keep your competitive edge, dare you to somehow grow from deep loss. … More Converting the Shot

How to Mend a Sole

She was preparing to leave a remote Liberian village last June when a boy named Henroy appeared. He was barefoot and thin, wearing a soccer jersey and an expression too broken for a face that was only 9 years old. Someone had sent for him so that Chesca Colloredo-Mansfeld could see his condition, but walking across the muddy earth from the road was a terrible balancing act. How could it not be? Henroy’s left foot twisted inward and upward. The sole of his foot faced the sky. … More How to Mend a Sole

The Client She’ll Never Give Up On

While they waited for Superior Court Judge Howard Manning to read the court’s finding — minutes that seemed almost as long as the six years Christine Mumma had worked to free Greg Taylor — Mumma became more convinced they had lost, while Taylor simply prayed that his heart would not give out. They waited together for a moment that had never before happened in the history of the judicial system, neither of them daring to believe. … More The Client She’ll Never Give Up On

Blue Genes

Carolina Blue is going to proms, swing dancing in clubs, running down grassy trails and working out in gyms. It is even growing in your garden. It is the sky, it is the streets (certain inner-city gangs use Carolina Blue as an identifier), it is as ubiquitous as Michael Jordan himself.

The difference between Jordan and Carolina Blue is that there is only one of him. … More Blue Genes

Educating Michie

Your wisdom says that Greg Michie, a middle-class white man from Charlotte, and these men, gang members and high school dropouts in Chicago, the sons of Mexican immigrants, all wish to be somewhere else tonight. And perhaps you are correct. But a man can find himself in the strangest places when he can’t find himself in convention. A man can ache for Tuesday night. … More Educating Michie