Relationships

Turning Compassion Inward

Amy sat with me on my screened porch at the lake, listening the way only a woman who has spent thirty years as a cloistered nun in a monastery, then three more years training to be a therapist, can listen. “You have compassion fatigue,” she said. “What?” I asked. “There’s an actual name for this? […]

Love Is a Battlefield

This morning I sat down with my coffee and some old photos with no other intention than to reminisce. Today marks 14 years of marriage for my husband and I, and to celebrate, I decided to take a little trip down memory lane. Because if there’s one game in life I enjoy more than “Name […]

The Mercy of Speckled Stars

Memories are like stars speckled across the night sky. Rarely linear in form, they’re merely loosely connected dots in the synapses of the brain. They appear and disappear. They reappear in different places, in different forms. Their stories change every time. They differ from person to place, perspective to circumstance. They’re pieces of the past […]

Finger Pointing and Neighboring

Like so many others, I am following the developments in Dallas, Minneapolis, Baton Rouge, Kansas City and Florida, And I know that there will be fingers pointed. I could point my finger at the police, who disproportionately kill unarmed black men, who are seven times as likely as white men to die at the hands of police. […]

Requiem For a BFF

Being the new girl in 8th grade was like walking over hot coals every day. All the other kids were a part of established cliques. Hormones and insecurity are a double rip tide that pulls under all but the strongest and most resilient of us during middle school. It was a life preserver to have Karen draw me […]

Come Eating and Drinking, Come Hungry

In my father’s last days, his hunger vanished.  As he shrunk like a hollowed out husk, his spirit being gathered by the very hand of God, his appetites died within him. The hospice nurse handed me a pamphlet about the stages of death and closed her palm gently over the back of my hand.  “Fluid and food […]

Cooking and the Feeding of Our Souls

I’m becoming my mother. Whenever she comes to visit us, her greatest ambition is to cook for our family. She asks which of her Korean homemade dishes we’d like to eat, and even prior to her stay she prepares in advance by shopping for groceries we can’t find locally. She’s a lady on a mission. […]

Finding Love in the Present Tense

  On the cusp of womanhood, we dreamt of boys who would sweep us off our feet, play the guitar, and in the sun-drenched summer days of southern California, carry a surfboard under muscular tanned arms. We wrote bad poetry and were waterlogged from long days at the pool. We ate cookies, drank Coke, and […]

The Fringe Hours That Fuel My Life

The lock clicks as it slides open, a loud pop announcing the beginning of the day. I had already been waiting a few minutes outside the door for the restaurant to open, rubbing my tired eyes and stretching my muscles that weren’t yet aware they were supposed to be working this early. Every Friday that […]

I’m Not Good at Friendship. Or Am I?

I’m not good at friendship. Myers-Briggs tells me that I’m an INTJ, which is a fancy way of saying, “Doesn’t play well with others.” While I certainly don’t hate people, I don’t always understand them. Half the time I don’t even understand myself. Give me the world of the mind, the place of concepts and […]

Reason, season, lifetime.

My list of best friends used to be long. I’d prattle off a list of 20, 30 names, believing each person held and knew and understood a different part of my core. I’d count the number of weddings I’d been not only a bridesmaid in, but also a maid of honor in, not-so-secretly believing my […]

The Intimacy of Need

It is late and I am tired. My girls are snuggled into the carpet of an old college friend eating popcorn and watching Angeline Ballerina. Did I mention I am tired. I am so, so tired. My husband is writing his dissertation in Atlanta, and I am on my last leg of a road trip […]

Old Love

A few weeks ago my husband and I attended the wedding of our church’s new worship leader. We sat outside in stark white folding chairs. The backdrop- a gorgeous old red brick building with looming arches and history seeping out of every nook and corner. The sun lightly grazed our cheeks as the breeze stirred up […]