2024

2024 (12)

My hope is to offer encouragement to writers as well as to those who simply love to read. You will find snippets of things I am working on and special announcements here.

Tuesday, 02 July 2024 17:36

Letter To My Former Self

Written by Priscilla K. Garatti

You yourselves have seen what I did in Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself.~Exodus 19:4 (NIV)

Over this past year, I've had the privilege of connecting online with a fellow author and publisher, Ericka Clay. She created an ebook entitled Letters To Our Former Selves. She graciously accepted an essay from me to include in her publication.  You can find the ebook and all her books, poems and essays here. Ericka Clay

My essay:

LETTER TO MY FORMER SELF

Dear Former Self,

There was so much pain thrust upon you. Primarily because you were born into a world that is familiar with turmoil and despair, shame and sorrow.

You survived. I commend your resilience, especially since your mother frequently scolded that you were "too thin skinned and needed to toughen up." You lived with a red-welted glyph across your tender heart.

You didn't know then what you've learned by now. You didn't know that profligate grace would be the conduit to overthrowing guilt and sin. Would stand nonplussed in welcoming your sensitive nature.

You had to experience the prodigal years, too, to learn that all your efforts to fix and perform would only deplete your faith in God, would only drive you further away. Would create a gleam in the enemy's eye, make him clap his hands in glee that you fashioned a beaten-down dusty pathway to the canyon of legalism.

Monday, 27 May 2024 19:14

Looking Back

Written by Priscilla K. Garatti

The wideness of God's mercy, as the old hymn says (morning by morning new mercies I see); the sudden way that grace makes all things good.~Kathleen Norris (From Dakota, A Spiritual Geography)

Today I write my 400th blog entry. In some ways, this truth seems momentous. In another way, it is simply a milestone. I've needed to be here. Fleeing to the page, picking up the pen (my sister's term) feels as if it's saved my life over and over again. I started writing for real in 2002 when I'd almost forsworn Christianity--at least I thought I had. At first, I ventured to the white, empty space hesitantly. But soon, the blank lines began to fill with black ink as I poured out my feelings and questions about life with the remaining threadbare strands of faith in God I had left. Writing became a companion in that austere region, like a sturdy cane for an aching limp. I had no idea the profligate grace I needed then. I probably still don't. God has used the page as a catalyst to help me connect with Him, to understand that it is only by His mercy and faithfulness that I continue on the pilgrim road this side of His Kingdom. And I find it heartening that at consistent intervals you join me here in this spiritual geography. Thank you.

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."

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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.