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.
There's another related concept that I share: impermanence. Sometimes in their pain, people believe that the agony will last forever. But feelings are actually more like weather systems--they blow in and they blow out. Just because you feel sad this minute or this hour or this day doesn't mean you'll feel that way in ten minutes or this afternoon or next week. Everything you feel--anxiety, elation, anguish--blows in and out again.~Lori Gottlieb (From Maybe You Should Talk To Somebody)
I walk into the kitchen, rubbing my eyes, my hair sticking out in unattractive angles after a fitful night's sleep.
"How are you doing? asks my husband, Giovanni.
"Oh, I'm really sick of all the misery in the world. I'm so done," I say.
"Well," he says, "We're having burgers on the grill today." He smiles.
I smile back. "You're right. It's good to think about now, about today."
"Want to go for a walk?" Giovanni asks. "We could get out before it's too hot, then come home and shower and hunker down in the air conditioning." He smiles again.
I waver. Do I really want to coat myself with insect repellent? I'll be sweating like a maniac before we get home, even though it's not yet eight in the morning. My ambivalence hangs in the air, but before I can change my mind, I say, "Yes. Let's do it."
Above all, constantly echo God's intense love for one another, for love will be a canopy over a multitude of sins. Every believer has received grace gifts, so use them to serve one another as faithful stewards of the many-colored tapestry of God's grace.~I Peter 4:8,10 (The Passion Translation)
It's hard to know what to do. Seems the world just keeps getting sadder by the minute. There is a tendency to give up, give in. But somewhere deep in our hearts, we know that to remain in fear and despair is not the answer.
A few weeks ago, I wrote in a post that our hearts had been plowed by the racial unrest in our midst. I asked my readers to write to me about what they wanted to plant in the furrowed fields of their hearts. The consensus of the response was this: I will love better. I will pray for peace and justice. I will do what God calls me to in my sphere of influence. One reader provided this beautiful metaphor: "I received this vision of a smiling God holding a huge burlap bag marked GRACE in red letters. All I had to do was snip a corner and begin planting seeds in the fertile ground."
What if we all snipped the corners of our burlap bags and began planting the seeds God has gifted us with?
Craig Santos Perez
when the tide
then with the paddle
of your tongue
the letters to form
I had the metaphor in mind before I read the poem. I imagined that during this time in history, it seemed as if I was in the middle of the ocean. The sea wasn't necessarily turbulent. Only at times. The waters felt warm on my skin. I was a strong swimmer, and I had a boat. There was no land in sight, though. I trusted that at some point I'd see the shoreline in the distance. Until then I had provisions. I could cope in the endless blue. In the uncertain geography.
Imagination led me to what I stored in my canoe...
The O Antiphons are verses that are sung or chanted preceding the Magnificat ("My soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior...") at vespers during the last week of Advent...Each one addresses Christ by a different title: "O Wisdom," "O Adonai," "O Root of Jesse," "O Key of David," "O Radiant Dawn," "O King of Nations," "O Emmanuel." The chant tones are uncommonly beautiful, and combine with an uncommon wealth of imagery to fulfill one role of chant, that is, to engage us more fully, more bodily, with our faith each time we hear or sing them.~Kathleen Norris (From The Cloister Walk)
It was just so sudden. Or so it seemed. We knew Emma was at the end of her life. But so soon after we'd heard she'd tested negative for COVID? After I'd just updated you here at the website that we rejoiced that Emma was recovering? I don't doubt that every one of your prayers was answered, though. Giovanni and I learned that the day before she died, Emma still recognized her daughters and was alert. In good spirits. She died peacefully in her sleep. She left a still smile upon her face. I like to imagine that her smile indicated she heard the O Antiphons--that the gorgeous strains of "O Wisdom, O Adonai, O Root of Jesse, O Key of David, O Radiant Dawn, O King of Nations and O Emmanuel" were the sounds she heard as she made her procession into Heaven, the Kings of Kings welcoming her, embracing her. "You're home now, Emma. Well done my good and faithful servant." (Speaking Italian, of course.)
Plow your unplowed hearts. (Jeremiah 4:4, The Message)
George Floyd's last words, "I can't breathe," plowed the hearts of the nations. His words tore through our collective soil, and that amended earth bodes a question. What will we plant in that furrowed ground?
A few days ago, I read a post on Instagram about what white people don't usually think about. When I need a neutral colored pair of hose, I never flinch at how the hosiery is typically described--"nude" or "flesh colored." But what if your flesh is not white? Something so seemingly simple is an affront to a dark-skinned woman.
When I next saw my African American colleague and friend, I shared my realization, and she smiled knowingly as if to say, "Priscilla, that is only the tip of the iceberg." I told her I felt powerless. "What can I do to show my support, to be a healing voice for the heartache in our community and world?"
She thought for a moment and said, "You can write. Use your platform to tell our stories." Underneath her suggestion was the unspoken plea not to remain silent.