Don Sheehan's early life, plagued by his father's alcoholic violence, was at the same time blessed by the good stories this intelligent man read aloud to his children. In his teens, unhappy in school, Don joined a street gang and then the Army Reserves, where he found he had renounced violence. On his eighteenth birthday, happening upon his post library, he walked straight to a book of Japanese poems. It went, in turn, straight to his heart, for eight hours. He'd come home at last. The house of Don's pilgrimage encompasses a wide territory: spiritual, lyric, scholarly, usually all at once. At our best, what we can take from engaging these essays is a way of falling into the heart to embrace, suffer, and, in Christ, transfigure the world's "ruining oppositions." In doing so, we fulfill what St. Maximus the Confessor saw as our human calling: to unify the polarities embedded in God's creation and thus make, not only ourselves, but all Creation whole.