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.
I remember the day, a hot, sweltering, Carolina afternoon, not unlike the scorching summer days we are experiencing now. Maybe that's why I'm recalling that time a few years ago. I walked over to our mailbox. I could feel the heat soak into my hands when I opened the box. I didn't even look through the collection of envelopes--probably only junk mail and bills. I spied a neon-yellow card in the middle of the stack. I wasn't curious--coupons, most likely, for fast food. Later that night, I sat eating dinner alone, my husband out of town. I absentmindedly picked up the envelopes and began to shuffle through them. Buried inside the quotidian array, I found a postcard from my husband. He has a lovely, vintage practice of buying postcards, writing a few lines and mailing them to me when he's away visiting his family in Europe. The photo on the card captured a scene of people sitting on benches around a fountain, a faultless blue sky overhead. My husband wrote on the back of the postcard, "We should be here together." I ran my fingertips over the ink he used to pen the words, the handwriting as familiar to me as my own breath. How could a postcard, something so small, so elemental bring such comfort?
I think because we crave to be known. In the sometimes harrowing pace that life foists upon us, we long to know that someone wants to share our company, that we have been singled out by someone else.
This week I was in charge for a few days. My boss was out of town attending a conference, and two other counselors who typically oversee the clinic were out on vacation. My boss asked me to be the "go to" person. I usually feel much more comfortable in the 'follower" role. This time, though, I wanted to be a team player and knew there needed to be someone to lead. I accepted her request.
It was as if I'd been asked to perform a solo dance. I'd never danced alone, but I knew the steps--knew them well. I entered the stage, my tap shoes securely laced. The curtain parted, the spotlight fixed on me. I began tapping, my body remembering the routine, freedom and joy filling me as I made my way across the stage, the rhythmic, sonorous beats of my shoes on the wooden stage resounding throughout the theatre. By week's end, I bowed, panting, a sheen of perspiration on my face, simultaneously exhausted and invigorated.
That art should be so elusive is deeply mysterious. In many respects it seems so straightforward. What art demands of us has remained constant down through the centuries--that we slow down, observe, contemplate, court quiet, practice stillness, live as if we have all the time in the world, knowing full well that we don't.~Richard Russo (from The Destiny Thief--Essays On Writing, Writer's And Life)
I spied the white rectangle in a shadowy corner of the parking garage as I walked to my car. When I got closer, I saw that it was an old cassette tape, streaked with mud, a wrinkled label coming unglued from its surface that read Staying The Course. I almost threw the tape in the trash bin, but took it to my car. I held the tape in my hands and read the title again, that phrase a kindness, a gentle touch there in that noisy concrete building.
We don't have to persist for life--we have to persist for now--and now is always the accepted time.~Graham Cooke
The moment. I am often guilty of living behind or in front of "the moment," the now, in my life. Last week, I continued to glance at the package sitting on the passenger seat of my car when I'd drive to work or go on errands. Why hadn't I mailed it? The large envelope contained the rough draft of the latest manuscript I'd written. When I sealed the envelope, several thoughts ran through my mind. "If I look at one more page, I'll scream. I'm sick of this material." "I know the piece still needs work. There will be a lot more revisions to make before publishing." I drew myself into "the moment" and was able to declare, "This is part of the process. You've given the manuscript all you have. In this moment you let the editor do his job. For now, your part is over. Take the next step. Mail the package, Priscilla. Don't let it sit one more day. It's time."
Sometimes I get tired of needing to persist. To persevere feels too difficult. My life is a pathway with many choices and distractions. Failures. Unexpected events. Decisions. Annoyances. My responses can tend toward negativity, doubt, judgment of others, a critical nature, self-condemnation. The shadowy places along the the trail. I feel like giving up, my mind averted. Too much introspection. I am reminded to look outward, toward the light. Allow the illumination of God's truths to consume me. Walk in the light for this moment.
He is for me. He is the majestic one who has laid the path. Persist in the presence of His light.
I decided that the most subversive, revolutionary thing I could do was to show up for my life and not be ashamed.~Anne Lamott
I rounded the corner and drove up onto the bridge, on my way to work. Clouds, singed pink around the edges, flamed against a gray backdrop. I wanted to pull over and let that sky seep into me. But I couldn't. I had to let nature's brief caress be enough. Like a tender kiss with your beloved that you'd just as soon be extended. But life and duty called more loudly. This week, though, I thought about how these things I love can't get lost in the sea of obligation. It is important to connect to things we love, whatever those things are. It is imperative to let our real selves rise to the surface.
Just this week, a young woman was hired at our worksite. She'll be moving from another state. What struck me in the interview that I liked more than her resume and experiece, was her authenticity, her vulnerability. She said moving to a place near the water was a lifelong desire, and now she had the opportunity. I loved that she was connecting with her truest self. My interaction with this lovely woman, caused me to ask myself if I was consistently aligning with my heart's desires, or had I allowed myself to merely be going through the motions. Maybe that was why the morning sky slayed me, pierced through the pensive, anxious state I allow myself to dwell for long periods of time without a break.