I believe in Something and More.
Some call it the Divine or Magic.
Others call it the Great Unknown—
the mysteries, future discoveries
in the cosmos or a single flower.
But I call it Beauty and Wonder.
I’m excited (and a little nervous) to share my very first published piece of 2017 with all of you. Hope you enjoy.
“I’ve noticed you’ve gained a little weight,” Mom said as we sat in the car. I was 11 years old and my body was just beginning to hint at hips. She reached over, tugging on the new roll of stomach fat that was hiding under my t-shirt. “Getting a little pudgy,” she teased.
I’d been too busy feeling awkward that I was morphing into what adults called “busty” to specifically zero in on what my stomach had been up to — no good, as it turned out.
“This little light of mine,” I sang at the top of my lungs in children’s Sunday school, “I’m gonna let it shine!” The room full of preschoolers held up their pointer fingers as if they were reenacting a candlelight vigil.
“Hide it under a bushel?” we sang as we cupped a hand over our little lights. “NO!” would be the thunderous response, “I’m going to let it shine! Let it shine! Let it shine! Let it shine!”
I heard a lot about light growing up. I was taught God was light and that Jesus was the light to the world. Light embodied goodness, the divine, and power. “The light is more powerful than darkness,” the senior pastor liked to say. “When you flip a light switch, the darkness vanishes.” It didn’t come slinking back for another round after it’d put some mixed veggies from the freezer on its eye. Light prevailed, instantly. Darkness didn’t even stand a chance. Providing that lightbulb keeps working, you’ll be darkness-free.
Electricity was a common working metaphor for light, but I think it played a part in us missing why the metaphor for light would have been meaningful to the original writers and readers of the bible. They didn’t have electricity. They couldn’t just flip a switch. Light was important because they knew what darkness truly was.
Sometimes there isn’t a light switch to banish darkness with a single command. Sometimes there is no light. Sometimes things are just dark. And darkness can be terrifying. Read More
Recently I’ve received several emails from readers on the topic of writing, asking if I have any advice on the topic or sometimes just wanting to chat. And I’ve realized that all of my best writing advice comes from people who have a heck of a lot more experience than I do, so I’ve decided to share a favorite book of mine at the beginning of every month.
For December it seemed only right to start off with Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. It was the very first writing book I ever read and if I were stranded on a desert island and forced to only choose one writing book, it would definitely be this one. While it’s not a how-to manual, Lamott’s book is packed full of helpful advice and encouragement. But the following are two of my favorite insights. In fact, they’re my two favorite tips about writing period. Read More
I stood at the foam-lace trim of
Mother Earth’s blue gown as her hips
Gently swayed back and forth.
I stood with my toes planted in the
Wet sand as the seagull overhead scoffed
In a language I cannot comprehend.
I stood on the shore as the breeze
Flirtatiously ran his salty fingers through
My hair, tying it into sailor’s knots.
I stood watching an orange starfish as
He was carried along with the tide and the
Waves tickled the souls of my feet.
I stood there offering heavy questions
To the goddess of the sea and she softly
Replied, “Just be, child. Just be.”
“If I could take nice pictures and had a camera, I’d love to photograph the changing seasons,” I thought to myself. Again. I wished I’d been blessed with the gift of photography on the day that talents had been handed out.
I had the same thought again a few days ago as I looked out my bedroom window, noticing how much the trees had changed in such a short period of time. And thinking how much fun it’d be to document the transition. “If I could take nice pictures and had a camera,” I began again. And then I stopped. Wait. I do have a camera.
Within a matter of minutes I was shoving on rain boots and grabbing my camera, throwing its red and white polka-dot strap over my shoulder as I marched out the front door. Whether or not I could take “nice” pictures didn’t even matter, I told myself. I enjoyed taking pictures, so I was going to take them.
Once I was outside, heading onward towards autumnal adventures, I turned my camera on and flipped through the last pictures I’d taken. They were vacation photos. I hadn’t touched my camera, not even once, since Ian and I had been on vacation. My camera had just been hanging by its strap in the closet, waiting.
Waiting for what? Read More