Fighting for Community (or Fading Away)

I know what it must feel like to be a ghost. I am haunting the life I used to live but haven’t moved on yet, hanging out on the fringes of what I once called mine. I watch everyone around me go about their days as they always have but I am on the outside […]

When We Don’t Want Others To Belong

  I’m looking for spaces that are a homecoming. I’m realizing it’s not easy to find places of true belonging and it’s even harder to be a person who offers it. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t want to belong, but I know many who want to disconnect, to distance, to separate and […]

My Improbable Love of “Happy Birthday”

I should get bonus points when I surprise my friend Shoshana: she’s remarkably unflappable. If I’d told her I was getting a giant bat tattoo on my behind, she’d probably nod and say, “Oh, interesting.” But the other day on the phone, when I told her I love it when people sing “Happy Birthday” to […]

Books Can Keep You Stitched Together

The first book to ever hold this type of “keepin” power for me was, Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I slept with this book under my pillow every night. I was even willing to pay the “lost” fine fee that my middle school library would eventually charge me for not returning it. […]

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. […]

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 […]

Setting an Extra Place

Last spring, I went back to work full-time, setting off something of a tumult of significant life changes. Our littlest started kindergarten. We left summer camp ministry (and our home of more than a decade), trading the life bucolic for a busy corner rental in town. Jim started two businesses, and he and I largely […]

Reaching Across the Edges

I kneeled on the blue mat next to Sam’s bed in the skilled-care wing of the senior care facility. My elbows were on the edge of his bed as I leaned forward to hear him better. I felt like one of those old-fashioned needle point pictures of the children praying before bed, “Now I lay […]