Dismantling Dark Emotions

I am one of those people that journal religiously. I have since I can remember. And I keep them (which is miraculous considering how much crap I throw away). I used to think that buying a new journal was like New Year’s Eve: A new chance at life. But now I’m learning that it doesn’t […]

Wearing the Word Brave

It’s dark in here, I told him, but all the lights in the room are on. It’s the first thing I can think of to explain my knees bouncing and my teeth chattering, even though I’m not cold. I am out of control. I am helpless, at the mercy of my brain. I am utterly […]

The Night my Blackness Was Stripped Away in the Dark

I was weary of dumbing down my brain smarts and body parts to fit into the present day image of Black beauty and sexuality.  Truth is I didn’t have the breast size or small waist and curved hips to compete in the first place. Instead of placing MTV’s coke-bottle-super-model-video vixens as my prized goal, I […]

Fear Not

I sat there, sipping my mocha, while our daughter rolled a ball across the floor, back and forth, and periodically tried to escape from the little corner we had planted ourselves in, waiting for them to call the flight. I took a picture or two of father and daughter, grinning, holding each other close. And […]

Quit While You Still Love It

A number of my friends are facing a crossroads at the moment asking the same immortal question as The Clash did in 1982: Should I stay or should I go? The pattern, I observe, goes something like this:Move to a new placeSettle into new placeEnjoy the new placeRESTLESSNESS. When I first became a Christian minister […]

Dear Fear, You Are a Mouse

I walked into the bedroom and I knew you were there. I could feel you lurking, waiting to pounce on little hearts. To enter whenever we would give you an opening. So I taught the kids at a very young age to say this: God has not given me a spirit of fear . . […]

I Know Why They Chose to Sink

I came across a journal the other day with one of the only poems I’ve written in more than a decade. My college years were spent between literary criticism, philosophy papers, and procrastinating by writing poetry. But after life got increasingly full and more complicated, I let verse fall to the wayside. That fullness quite […]

The Burden is Light

“Even my sink is full today!” I grouched, pouring another wire basket of tomatoes into the path of the running water. There were cucumbers on the counter, beans in the garden that needed to be picked . . . and no time to do it all. I love my garden—although sometimes this is not obvious […]

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 […]

This Little Light of Mine . . .

This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine. As a girl I sang these words, in a children’s’ choir with our fingers pointed to the sky. Our hands circling. We were the light of the world. And we were to let our lights shine brightly, and constantly for all to see. This little […]

Heartbreak and Shipwreck

“What are your worst fears?” Tammy asked me. My first reaction was, well, this is a no-brainer. I’ve lived most of my life with anxiety and dread. I should be able to rattle off my fears like a grocery list. And yet my hands lingered over the keyboard. I hesitated. I realized, I don’t know. […]

Fire and Smoke

I was alone, at my off grid in-process homestead, when I looked up and noticed the haze collecting in the sky. By alone I mean alone with my small posse of dependents—three kids ages 1 and 4 and 6, plus at the time, a puppy. There wasn’t so much smoke that it made me worried, […]