Art

Why Bad Self-Care Is a Kind of Sin

“This author really pissed me off,” I told my husband the other day. I brandished a book called Soon: An Overdue History of Procrastination, by Andrew Santella. My anger surprised my husband. He enjoys a heated debate while I tend to shy away from black-and-white argument. But this book? I ranted about it for fifteen […]

Wading into Chaos

I spend most of my waking hours creating. In this very moment, my office is cluttered with dozen of books, sticky notes, 4X6 cards taped to my walls, medical forms waiting to be filled out, snacks, empty coffee mugs, and camera gear needing to be put away. I’m surrounded by chaos. Genesis 1 seems to validate my experience that there is no creation apart from chaos.

The Fear and Beauty of Solitude

It was a cool October day and I was sitting on my favorite bench in my favorite garden in Pittsburgh—a little slice of green tucked in the side of the corner lot under a series of stained-glass windows lining the east wall of the synagogue.  Beyond the walls, the busy intersection loomed; but inside I […]

When the Morningstar Hovers

I am alone And its ok. For 30 years I had four breathing beings tugging at me, (*five if you count my husband **six if you count my mother who lived with us for ten years) at my sleeve, at my knee, at times at my throat). ((at my throat because three of the beings […]

When a Story Happens: Madeleine L’Engle’s Impartation of Courage

Remember that time a story happened to you? It happened like a car accident or a record-breaking snowfall, like a check you weren’t expecting. One moment your life was clicking along as normal, a book in your hands; the next you stood motionless, a wave of words washing over you as relentlessly as the tide. […]

Believing

Spring has been slow in coming this year. Winter has lingered far beyond its welcome. There have been days, weeks even, when it seemed that perhaps this year, spring would not return. I’ve resented the freezing temperatures and the need for sweaters, wool socks, gloves, and coats. I’ve been ready to move on for weeks. […]

The Mudroom Turns 4!

We have been going strong for 3 years and we want to make our 4th year something special too. We’ve added a few features such as Dear Portia, our advice column with Heather Caliri and Flashback Friday starting next week, where we’re posting a piece from the archives. There’s too much good writing on here […]

Arguing with God about the Bible

Once upon a time, I told God to start sounding more like Cheryl Strayed. You might have heard of Strayed’s most famous book, Wild, which became a movie by Reese Witherspoon. She’s also the advice columnist Sugar, originally on The Rumpus and now a podcast from WBUR. I love Strayed’s work the way most normal […]

Coffee Cups and Emmanuel

 I knew now… why I could feel homesick at home. — G.K. Chesterton   O Come O Come Emmanuel And ransom captive Israel That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear   Coffee cups I don’t remember much of the particulars of that conversation. I remember fumbling around for words as my […]

Learning to Dwell in a World of Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

“Dwell.” The word hit my ears in a wooden classroom nestled amongst a wooded college campus and mansions of the uber-rich. Then, it seemed, I had all the time in the world to dwell. The words from novels and poetry uncurled, sinking directly into my poet’s heart. Words were the quickest way to dwell in […]

Psalm to Mom

You’re not my own but you read me to bed, and tickles me to the bone love how my fat cheeks dimple up. And I’m barely two and my curls are brand new. And you don’t know what she’s doing,  trying to make my braids, Put your head down, hold your head down, hold it […]

Living Monday after a Sunday Tragedy

A week ago, a terrorist let his machine gun loose on a crowd of people in our beloved city. Las Vegas was our home- the place where we started our married life, where we had our babies, where we rooted ourselves in the community we nurtured. But we weren’t there when the shooting happened. We […]