Running into Shame and Grief

I ran a marathon last week, and it broke my heart. “It was hard, but at least I finished,” I tell the people I don’t know as well. With others, the words “excruciating” and “demoralizing” and “disappointing” might make their way into my answers. But I’m still smiling as I list the reasons why my ...

Embers

Work might be saving my life right now. ... Maybe I\'m just losing myself in busyness, but I\'d like to think there\'s something sacramental in the movement of my hands, the microcosmic rhythms of meaningful work, the ebb and flow of order and chaos. ... I marvel at what a difference twelve hours can make in reanimating ashes, turning back the clock to make live coals pregnant with promise once again. ...

Running into Grace

I am standing at a street corner in the predawn blue. A gas station to my right outshines the few remaining stars, and behind me the green-yellow-red rhythm regains its usefulness. We are all waking up. Ahead, the sidewalk curves into a trail along a river, where I will see deer and rabbits and ducks, ...

Of Magic and Memory

Six months ago, she hugged her family goodbye, and the page turned as they went upstairs and she stayed downstairs. The night before, the first night, she lay on the blue-and-white rug looking up at the ceiling, knees pulled to her chest. She won’t remember most of her thoughts from those early days, but she’ll ...

Streaked with Grace

I don’t mean to dip my fingertips into the wine along with the bread, but in that dimly lit basement, it sometimes happens. And I’m always glad when it does. Within seconds I’ve chewed and swallowed, but my fingers are still streaked with light purple. It feels like a measure of grace, like my skin ...

Forever Unraveling

Three years ago, I told my roommate, “I don’t know who I am.” She didn’t understand how that could be. But it is a journey I am still on, to find the threads of desire and movement, of the words that leave my mouth and those that shrink back, of fear and freedom, stillness and ...