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Recycled

“White woman, why water full of sorrow flow from face?” The young woman’s Chenglish needed no translation and neither did my tears as she poured rosewater into a wooden bucket to soak my feet. She was wearing a Louis Vuitton jacket, sequined sweater and rice hat: a fashion style as common in Kunming, China as […]

Lessons from My Best Friend Leaving

Today my best friend left. She loaded her things into her SUV and began a 25-hour journey away to join her soon-to-be husband in Colorado. We’ve been close friends for about three years, feeling like the only grown single women in our small town. Together we’ve weathered the storms of shared tears and laughter about […]

Breakaway Rising

I was fiercely fighting in forcing myself to stay. To be the “bigger person” and rise to the occasion. But after nine months, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I had to break free. And I was terrified it would be anything but a clean break. Tears flowed by the buckets that weekend, all because […]

Leaving Home and the Geographies of our Days

Every time we leave, I always hope for a clean break, where you wince but then rip off the band aid and you’re okay. Where the pain is quick but then fades, and soon, you’re just left with a scab. Or I hope that if the pain does remain, it’s still beautiful in its own […]

Clean Breaks

“He’s lucky, it was a clean break.” People say this sometimes, when a leg or arm or ankle is broken. I teach high school and I am always surprised at how often my students end up injured, often seriously. “It was good that the break was clean.” How can a break be good? I’ve never […]

Dreaming Big

  I do my best dreaming in the shower. Not fairies and Ryan Gosling kind of dreaming, but world-changing and life-exploding dreaming. I started dreaming those kind of dreams about two years ago, dreams that keep building on one another and making me ask, “Really, God, REALLY?” {Sitting here now I can almost hear Him […]

Welcome to The Mudroom

Back in the day I used to write for Cornerstone magazine. The staff was a community inside of a community: artists, proofreaders, marketing, writers, mail room. It was frantic and insane and glorious. I miss that sense of secrecy, the privilege of beholding a work of art before anyone else does, the camaraderie of common deadlines and late-night last-looks. […]