Blog (400)

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.

Monday, 10 July 2023 17:00

Listening To That Other Voice

Written by Priscilla K. Garatti

It comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes at the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger quieter life come flowing in. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind. We can do it only for moments at first. But from those moments the new sort of life will be spreading through our system: because now we are letting Him work at the right part of us.~C.S. Lewis (From Mere Christianity)

The morning's entrance began with sunlight like fire behind the stand of trees at the back of my house. An ordinary day. But that evening, I walked out my front door. Nothing was normal now. Police cars lined the parking lot, blue lights twirling silently atop the vehicles. Three long, red fire trucks parked near the entrance of my condo complex. A neighbor walked up to me as I stood on my porch. "Something horrible happened. A four-year-old boy drowned in the pond. He didn't make it." 

"What's going on?" I whispered.

My neighbor, her face tear-stained, her cheeks flushed deep pink, said, "I don't know any details. The child didn't live here. He was visiting. That's all I know."

Monday, 03 July 2023 14:46

Resist Chronology

Written by Priscilla K. Garatti

Resist chronology. It will always try to impose itself.~Verlyn Klinkenborg (From Several Short Sentences About Writing)

I'm partial to linearity, chronology. Give me a straight line and let me follow it. A to B to C. Beginning. Middle. End. No curve balls. Please no curves. I dream of hopping on a bike and following the cobalt thread of the the ocean--going forward in a straight line. No thinking about where I need to turn. But even that thinking is fantastical. I live on a sphere. Curves are my reality.

A few years ago when I was still working as a counselor, a colleague came to my office. Said she was moving to California. That's where she was from. "I want to be closer to my family," she said. "I miss them." I asked, "Did you get another job?" "No," she said. "And I'm not a hundred percent sure it's the best thing to do, leaving what I know here and re-locating to the other coast. But I have to try. I won't know if it's right if I don't try."  I said, "That seems pretty scary." "It is," she said. "But I have a plan. It works every time I'm feeling uncertain."  "Tell me," I said.

Monday, 19 June 2023 15:30

Broken Things

Written by Priscilla K. Garatti

There's a kind of unspoken conspiracy to ignore how difficult life is, or to reframe it as something romantic--a heroic challenge we overcome on our way to the good life. In this conspiracy we each try to hide our scars, even from those closest to us and sometimes even from ourselves...think about someone you know who is living the good life: someone well dressed, confident, smiling, high achieving, maybe even attractive and intelligent and funny. Nine times out of ten, they are carrying around something unspeakably painful. And often, when you learn what that pain is, it'll be something completely unexpected.~Alan Noble (From On Getting Out Of Bed)

In my study, I have a black and white photo of a trio of gondolas tied to a dock in the waters of Venice. The gondola is a significant symbol for me. When I was weak and ill with cancer several years ago, I had little strength for anything. I couldn't climb stairs. I was bald from chemo treatments. No eyelashes. No eyebrows. My face round as the moon from side-effects of the medication in the chemo cocktail. I would visualize myself resting in the gondola, not having to muster strength for anything other than to feel a fresh breeze on my face and trail my fingers in the sun-dappled, sea-green Venice canals. I imagined the Lord as my gondolier. In my vulnerability, I abandoned my control to His guidance. I learned then, at least somewhat, the mystery and comfort of His presence when I was broken.

Thursday, 08 June 2023 20:27

Trying Too Hard

Written by Priscilla K. Garatti

I keep scraping at the world trying to find something.~line from the BBC series, Marriage

I got locked out of a new phone, because I created a pin and couldn't remember it--didn't record the numbers anywhere. All my fault. I Googled to see how many four-digit number combinations there are between zero and nine. Ten-thousand. Hopeless. I'd already attempted about a hundred. The customer service person at T-Mobile scolded, "You created the pin. That's a personal thing. There's no way I can help you retrieve it." My husband said (not in a mean way), "Priscilla, that phone's a brick." I laughed (a little).

I had tried so hard. I always try really hard. I scrape around attempting to do what's best, do the right thing, make the prudent decision. Sometimes, though, all that trying is not enough. So I prayed, "God, I feel guilty that I screwed up the pin. I surrender. If the phone remains a brick, that's okay. I will trust your leading, your provision, whatever that looks like. Above all, I have so much to be thankful for. For You in my life, for my darling husband who is smart and has good ideas, who's a great trouble shooter." I'd just read the the parable of Jesus feeding the five thousand. I continued to pray, "Lord I don't have any idea how to fix the phone, just like the boy with five loaves and two fish had so little to offer that vast crowd of hungry people. I'll trust you to multiply the meager supply in my hand."

Monday, 22 May 2023 13:36

Sitting There With Someone, Connected To Someone

Written by Priscilla K. Garatti

Something in my heart flared.~Anthony Doerr (From Four Seasons In Rome)

I forget, sometimes, how safe God is. I share a few sentences from my book, The Light By Which We See, Love, Art, Marriage. This day in Barcelona helps me remember.  

When I traveled to Europe, self-consciousness about how I looked rose to the surface. That day in Barcelona, in 2009, in April, I observed a woman board our train. Her dark hair gleamed, and her skin reflected no flaws. She had pink, full lips and gloriously white teeth--shiny natural nails. She wore a silver ring. I wanted to be her. Giovanni held my hand, his thumb gently rubbing back and forth over my freckled skin. The woman glanced briefly at us. She looked at our hands. Her glimpse wasn't even a second, but I saw a flicker cross her face--that expression that let me know she'd seen something intimate--something that wasn't a commonplace occurrence. Then she quickly looked away. If I hadn't been watching her so closely, I'd have missed it. Maybe she wanted to be me--sitting there with someone, connected to someone.

I could hear the rushing of the train, its loud rumblings, the clattering. My thoughts howled as loudly as the train. I cried out, my voice blending with the clamoring, thundering train. "Please stop. Please stop. God what is it? Let me want to be me."

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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.