Identity

Finding Another Piece of the Puzzle (On Why I Jumped On the Enneagram Bandwagon)

They were the kind of sobs that you feel like rock your whole body in such a way that something must certainly shake loose from your heart. They were the kind of tears that feel like they reach back years in time, pulling up issues you didn’t know you were concealing. Those tears snuck up […]

A Juicy, Fruitful Life

Recently, I came across this quote from Brene Brown: “I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:  I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing—these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and […]

Be Careful What You Pray For

Authenticity; be careful what you pray for. The Cambridge English dictionary defines authentic as “the quality of being real or true.” I’d heard a call to write everyday stories highlighting the intersection of Life and Faith. I thought I understood what such a call meant. Be careful what you pray for… There is that insistent, […]

Don’t Be Afraid of the Unraveling

Life is not a matter of creating a special name for ourselves, but of uncovering the name we have always had. – Richard Rohr My sense of the self I try to project, the name I hope to make for myself, started to unravel one day when I was deep in my own thoughts, walking […]

It’s Authentic to Name Yourself

Drawing people is a jigsaw puzzle. You look at the photograph of the woman with the pixie cut and the flowing dress, her arms improbably easy as she falls through the air, and then you look past the whole for the parts. I start with the head, the slim cap of her hair, the eyes […]

For the Single Ladies

She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that’s best in dark and bright Meet in her aspect and in her eyes; Thus mellowed to that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies. -Lord Byron   I think of you as I sit at my desk this morning. […]

How Truth-Telling Overcomes Shame

In my mid-twenties, a fabulously handsome and wealthy man pursued me. He picked me up in his Jaguar, took me to expensive restaurants, and always called the next day to express how much he enjoyed our time together. While I appreciated the attention and affirmation, I felt somewhat ambivalent because I knew I was working overtime […]

May You Bloom

There’s something inside you waiting to unfurl. It is quietly growing beneath the surface. You can feel it gathering itself up, the momentum of its growth building. How it began is a mystery. What it will become is yet to be seen—even to you. But in its time, if you nurture it well, it will […]

Invocation to the Night I Drowned

I am the panic attack that upended your entire life. I am the storm you could never remember seeing but always felt. I am removing this identity from you like I have many times before. I am going to grow in you yet a new one as I have always done before. I am not […]

The Absent Ones | A Conversation with Christie Purifoy about Placemaker

The morning light filters in through wavy glass windows in a little nook off a farmhouse dining room. I sit across from Christie Purifoy, watching a squirrel foraging outside in the winter-bitten grass, and it strikes me that the drab brown of mid-March is a perfect backdrop for our conversation about placemaking–a visual reminder that […]

Female Fingerprints Are All Over Global Cities: Will we See them?

Night came swiftly as the cool air of Autumn descended upon the plantation. Fog covered the great poplar tree so that just the swish of her petticoat was visible as she removed the encoded message, replacing it with another. She knew that this station, on her family’s farm outside of the capital, was their most […]

The Rightness of Clothes

You know that thing where you show up for a fashion show in such amazing clothes that the photographers there assume you’re Someone Famous and photograph you? But actually you’re a sixty-something Fordham social work professor and just have really fabulous taste? And because of that photo shoot, you become a fashion icon, model, and […]