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My hope is to offer encouragement to writers as well as those who simply love to read. You will find eclectic snippets here—news of projects I’m working on, comments regarding books I enjoy, favorite authors, quotes, and reflections regarding my own experiences. I especially like to write about my dreams—those parables in the night seasons. Symbols and metaphors delight and intrigue me. You will find them here.

Saturday, 11 May 2024 14:41

Buongiorno

Written by Priscilla K. Garatti

Let us remember that the life in which we ought to be interested is "daily" life. We can, each of us, only call the present time our own...Our Lord tells us to pray for today, and so He prevents us from tormenting ourselves about tomorrow. It is as if God were to say to us: "It is I who gives you this day and will also give you what you need for this day. It is I who makes the sun to rise. It is I who scatters the darkness of night and reveals to you the rays of the sun."~Gregory of Nyssa, On The Lord's Prayer (From The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy And "Women's Work" by Kathleen Norris)

The black and white cup goes in the microwave. Hazelnut this morning, the strong brew that opens my nostrils. Inhaling the day. What will it look like?  I could call up negativity and fear, dread or apathy. Glower at the hours ahead. I don't want to. Can't afford those feelings, don't want to luxuriate in shame and staleness.

Thursday, 02 May 2024 20:54

Hope

Written by Priscilla K. Garatti

It was a blackboard to the end of sight, and any story might be written on its surface.~Leif  Enger (From I Cheerfully Refuse)

On her first birthday, she sat on her dad's lap as he helped her rip away the shiny giftwrap. She'd opened a storybook. Lilly held the book in her hands, lifted it over her head and shouted with robust infant joy. It was as if she could see the blackboard of her life, and right then, began filling the surface with the intricacies of her love for words and writing. A sea of stories swelling journals and computer files for all her life.

Now she's twelve. Tall and willowy, my darling granddaughter excels in school and loves playing the clarinet. But more, she is a girl who doesn't rebel against the light. She is kind. She is generous. She looks for the good in others. She is empathic. She loves God. And she's reached a milestone in her writing career. She is the recipient of  the South Carolina Parent Teacher Association's Reflection Literature Award for not only her Middle School, but also for the entire state.

Please join with me in celebration as you read her poem, Hope...

Saturday, 13 April 2024 16:45

The Scent Of Water

Written by Priscilla K. Garatti

At least there is hope for a tree: if it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail. Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant.~Job 14: 7-8 (NIV)

She was invisible in plain sight, a nine-year-old child living in a chaotic Irish family. The little girl was one among several siblings, her mother round with another child. She couldn't read well and her face flushed red when her mother yelled, "How could you do this again? Make this mess every night?" when she wet the bed. It was as if the girl needed to apologize for taking up space in the cramped, overcrowded house. These were the opening scenes of a movie I recently watched called The Quiet Girl.

The girl's mother had relatives who lived in a neighboring town. The girl went to live with this older couple for the summer. Suddenly, there was space for this lovely child. Connection with two people who paid attention--who were curious about her. Told her those long legs were made for running. There was affection and good long sleep. The little girl stopped wetting the bed. Her reading improved. The unconditional positive regard began its healing work, was the catalyst for disassembling the little one's shame. The child was like the tree cut down who detected the scent of water and put forth shoots.  

Summer ends and the child must return to her unruly household. The parting is painful, palpable as the child waves goodbye to the couple who has made room for her, loved her. As they drive away, the girl breaks into a run down the long road that leads to a gate. The man who was a substitute father for the summer, stands at the gate and sees her running toward him. He moves toward the girl and sweeps her up in his arms. The little girl buries her head in his neck and whispers, barely audible, "Daddy, Daddy."

Friday, 22 March 2024 18:37

The Barbie Conundrum

Written by Priscilla K. Garatti

When we connect with who we really are and our inherent worthiness, something beautiful happens--not just to us. The more safe and secure we become in our own self-expression, the more readily we can create safety and security for others to vulnerably and authentically express themselves too.~Dr. Nicole LePera (From How To Be The Love You Seek)

I couldn't wait. My twenty-year-old sister said she had a present for me--said she would give it to me when she returned from work. I tried all afternoon to imagine what the gift might be. A bike maybe? No, she probably couldn't afford that. A hula-hoop? I hoped not, because I could never keep those hoops going around my sturdy six-year-old body. Probably a book. Yes. that was it! I'd just learned to read and she was studying to be a librarian. Finally, she arrived home and set a slim, rectangular box down on the dining table. The box was decorated with drawings of various women. Very beautiful women. "Go ahead. Open the box. It's a Barbie doll. You know, everyone's talking about Barbie. Don't some of your friends have a Barbie doll now?"  I did have one friend who brought her Barbie to school. My friend had a blonde ponytail and so did her Barbie. I carefully opened the box. My Barbie was a brunette with short hair. She wore a black and white striped swimsuit. She had breasts. And she wore the tiniest black high heels. My sister urged, "Take her out of the box." I can still see my small hands, indented with dimples at the knuckles. I gingerly took my Barbie out of the box. Her feet were contoured to accommodate the high heels, so she needed a stand to stay upright. I clipped the stand to her torso and there she stood. I'd never had a doll like her before. She was beautiful with her cherry-red lips and Maybelline blue eyeshadow. But she wasn't soft like my other dolls. I displayed Barbie on my dresser. I liked her, but I didn't know how I would play with her. She didn't seem to be a doll to play with. "Well, what do you think?" my sister asked. "I don't know," I said.

Eventually, I got a shiny plastic case that said "Barbie" written in cursive on the front. When I opened the case, there was a narrow area on the left for Barbie to fit inside. Then on the right, a slender pole was attached with tiny coat hangers for all her clothes. Underneath the clothes rack was an area to store Barbie's accessories--all those minute shoes that kept getting lost. They usually could only be found when I stepped on one and hurt my foot. My aunt sewed a wardrobe for Barbie. My favorite outfit was a vermilion evening gown with a black cape embedded with delicate white seed pearls. As much as I enjoyed dressing my Barbie, there wasn't much else for me to do with her. At six, I preferred my Baby Dear, a soft doll that I slept with and held close to my chest. I think really I felt I was supposed to like to play with my new Barbie with the beautiful lips and the breasts. I didn't ever think I could be like her when I grew up. I was very round.

Monday, 11 March 2024 16:07

Poetry

Written by Priscilla K. Garatti

She wore apricot-colored lipstick, her blonde hair pinned up in a high bun, Brigitte Bardot style. The small diamonds in her ears, the size of pinheads, glistened in her lobes like tears.~Deborah Levy (From August Blue)

The image came to be almost instantly. I sat in a circle, participating in a women's Bible study at my church, each of us in silent contemplation, heads bowed. The leader spoke softly, "Do any of you see a picture or an image the Lord may have provided you?" I hesitated to speak out of timidity, "What if this image is dumb or incongruent with what God is saying? What if I'm just making it up in my head?" I sensed the Holy Spirit encouraging me to speak. Afterall, even if my picture was all of those things I feared, it was still a lovely image. So I said, "I see a woman from behind. The image is black and white. She is moving forward confidently, bathed in light moving toward an opening. Her opportunity."

Earlier in the week, I'd attended a conference. I was a greeter for the event. I stood outside the entrance at dusk, the indigo sky above punctuated with glowing silver stars. A woman came out and introduced herself. We quickly established we were both writers and she was also one of the conference speakers. While I was getting ready for the conference, I changed purses. I had the idea to place some of my cards into the purse as well. I almost didn't do it but said to myself, "Oh what the heck. It can't hurt." I didn't really believe I'd have anyone to give a card to. Yet spontaneously, I said to this lovely woman, "Here's my card. You may want to check out my website and books." She took my card in her hand and exclaimed enthusiastically, "You have a business. I've been looking for businesses to pray for."  She then said, "For the next thirty days I'll send an e-mail to let you know how I am praying for you." I hardly had time to thank her as she was off to speak. I never thought of writing books as a business. I viewed my writing as a hobby.

I later replied to one of her emails and told her that I appreciated her response to my card, never thinking of myself as having a business, telling her I found it difficult to "promote myself." She kindly responded that others could be missing out on something good if the writting was not where people could find it.

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What Readers Are Saying

In Missing God Priscilla takes a brave and unflinching look at grief and the myriad ways in which it isolates one person from another. The characters are full-bodied and the writing is mesmerizing. Best of all, there is ample room for hope to break through. This is a must read.

Beth Webb-Hart (author of Grace At Lowtide)

winner"On A Clear Blue Day" won an "Enduring Light" Bronze medal in the 2017 Illumination Book Awards.

winnerAn excerpt from Missing God won as an Honorable Mention Finalist in Glimmertrain’s short story “Family Matters” contest in April 2010.