The Red Handkerchief

In the story The Giver, they had a phrase “precision of language”. This was an admonition when people used an irrelevant term, something their culture didn’t believe in anymore. We have antiquated words that don’t serve us or even offend us now, and we have phrases whose etymologies are hard to trace. I’m captivated by […]

The Weight of Our Words

“Some words are elegant, some can wound and destroy, but all are written with the same letters.” – Paulo Coelho The laughing ceased as I walked into the room, turning to piercing eyes and whispers hidden behind folders. I inhaled deeply, trying to hold back the tears stinging my eyes. I wouldn’t let them know […]

How Can I Write about Freedom Now?

How can I write about freedom now, when the world (and my heart) is so often caged? How can I write about surrender when refugees are turned away? How can I write about joy when people of color are treated as unequal? I only have borrowed words to fill my empty cup: “How long, O […]

Pulling in the Anchor

      I am afraid of the sea.    Like my phobia of heights, this fear is at odds with the rest of me. For I am both a tree-climber (yes, at 37, still) and a beach lover. It is not the working my way up a rough trunk, finding toe-holds in knots and branches, but the […]

Surviving the Storm

I recently watched (read: sobbed through) an interview of a woman whose children were killed in the Tornado that savagely tore through Arkansas last year. One minute their hands were clasped together in the living room, the next she was face down, pantless, and severely injured, lying in a field of nothingness. But when she […]

Why I’ll Never Put A Lily At My Mother’s Grave

When I was married, I gifted with great ceremony white lilies to three older women that I loved. My blood mother. My stepmother. My mother-in-law. I carried the long and elegant stems across the pebbles toward their wooden folding chairs. All three of them died young. Cancer, cancer, and a freakish surprise sort of thing […]