I want to be on fire for God, but sometimes I feel more like the worn edges of two sticks that were furiously rubbed together but never produced a spark.
We aren’t even halfway through the year, and I have been to four funerals in almost as many months. I have tried to find light from each of the lives I mourned, to formulate a takeaway, some kind of life lesson that will make sense of all this sorrow. I did okay at first, feeling a heightened gratitude for my own life and the people in it.
The gift of death is that it edges life, delineating what matters most. Because of the sorrow, we see clearer, act more deliberately, and love more purposely. All the unimportant things that sent us into a frenzy are momentarily deemed inconsequential. The stark contrast between life and death gives us a clearer perspective and realigns priorities. Read more →
I am trying to be a list person. Typically, my lists get left behind on the kitchen counter, or if they are more goal-oriented, require me to breathe into a paper bag. Instead, I am a do-one-hard-thing-a-day-and-act-peppy-about-it kind of girl. Read more →
While eating breakfast in a quaint French café in San Francisco with all the clichés of lace curtains, marble top tables, and chocolate croissants, I watched a homeless woman rummage through the trash outside. She had plastic bags stuffed in the holes in her shoes, and she didn’t appear much older than me.
I grabbed my son’s half-eaten breakfast sandwich off his plate wrapped it in a napkin and ran outside. The homeless woman was walking briskly down the sidewalk, and I had to run to catch up. The travel books never mention what to do when you encounter homeless people in other cities, but it’s probably poor manners to chase them. Read more →
I keep seeing ads for Mother’s Day with petal pink letters in frilly font and slight women wearing flowing flowering frocks. It’s like advertisers think mothers dress in doilies, cover their heads in bonnets with perfectly tied grosgrain ribbon, and smile demurely all day wearing pink champagne tinted lip gloss.
I guess I should be glad they think that. Maybe they don’t notice that my flowing hair is tied back in a rubber band because I haven’t washed it, the dew on my skin isn’t from sprinkles of rose water but the sheen of oil on my face that I didn’t have time to powder, and my tinted lips are from biting them in an effort to avoid saying something regrettable. Read more →
Writers are told to write what you know. I started writing about mercy for the exact opposite reason. I didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t understand it. It was a word with a heavy veneer covering the solid wood underneath. While I almost never heard the word outside of a church, I could see the need for giving and receiving it everywhere. It’s as ancient as the air we breathe and as transparent. It’s easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it and life is suffocating without it.