The Books that Help Us Story Well

“You see these spots?” my dad would ask, pointing at my nose. “They aren’t freckles. They’re print that’s rubbed off from having your nose stuck in a book.” He wasn’t far from the truth. I read voraciously as a child. I took a book along with me everywhere—just in case. Just in case I got […]

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. […]

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 […]

Finding God in Fairytales

As a child, I blurred the lines between fiction and reality. After reading twenty of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books, I imagined that every step in the garden was part of a Great Adventure, and looked for clues for treasure everywhere: in twigs and castles. I fell in love with novels, which is to say, […]

I Am the Daughter of a Mentally-Ill Person

My sister and sat in a dark theatre waiting for the movie Silver Linings Playbook to begin. I knew from watching the previews that the movie was about mental illness, but that’s all I knew. I found myself squirming: How would this movie impact my sister and I? Silver Linings Playbook is the story of […]

What’s Your Trigger?

I know the panic which rises, gripping and pulsating, when a certain number flickers on the phone. I am a well-seasoned avoider as my heart races and I wait for voicemail, confident I am in trouble. I stall. Do laundry. Later, I listen. The same anxiety wakes me on days I meet with her. Well […]

And Yet.

  I’m not good at waiting. I never have been. Sadly, I can take after Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, “Daddy, I want a golden goose, and I want it NOW!” Because the waiting is right where hope can feel a bit foolish. I sat in the bathtub one morning as child […]

The Fear Underneath It All

 To listen to the spoken-word version of this post by Ashley, click below.   “But the tigers come at night. With their voices soft as thunder. As they tear your world apart. As they turn your dreams to shame . . .”  ~”I Dreamed a Dream,” Les Miserables   “You’ll never do it again. Your words are […]