The Right to Vote

The day was gray and the air was colder than expected for early November in Ohio. The rain was beginning to turn to snow, making the street and sidewalks slick.  My great-great-great-grandmother Franny, her daughter Nettie, and her 23-year-old granddaughter Vivi (my great-grandma) stood side by side trying to keep warm as they waited in line…

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The Haunting

Like much of America, we got a Coronatide puppy, long-legged and rambunctious. It is my job to walk him first thing in the morning so he doesn’t chew the table legs while I’m conference-calling. It’s a work-from-home season, and he doesn’t understand I have four more Zoom meetings to go.

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A Civic Sacrament

The morning hints of a crisp fall day that we Southerners dream about during the dog days of summer—clear blue sky, a chill in the air, and tinges of color appearing on the tips of oaks and maples. This reality stokes the energy I already feel tingling beneath my skin as I sit behind the…

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Bitter/Sweet

Almost every day my oldest daughter drinks a chocolate shake out of her green Paw Patrol bottle—one she loves for the dogs, not the characters. This shake is, of course, not just any chocolate shake. It’s packed full of various greens and nutrients, with a couple of vitamins crushed into it because I’m an opportunist.

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The Wounded Healer

The wounded healer arrives on the scene not a moment too soon or too late. She is ready and anchored in the flow of love to lean into the other’s deep pain. She heals with her eyes, her heart, and her hands, using words of comfort and care. She knows how it feels to be…

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Turning Words

I walked through the grocery store, loading my cart as if it were a normal day. The white paper cup in the cart cup holder was stained with dribbles of coffee that had seeped from underneath the white plastic lid. Ruby lipstick residue garishly proclaimed the cup mine. I had just set it down when…

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The Sweet Beginning

What felt like the bitter end was really the sweet beginning.  The sweet beginning to a new life. The bitter end to oppression. The bitter end to patterned, repeated, intentional, and willful systematic oppression. The sweet beginning to freedom from suppression and systemic fear.

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An End to Bitterness

Lately, I feel like I did as a child, when I would spin and spin in circles until I fell to the ground with dizziness. As a little girl this was fun. As an adult, not so much. In the past five years I can’t seem to find a single thing that I haven’t examined.…

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Brave and Honest

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” This was the prayer that I recited each week for one year in a little metal building with the letters AA discretely stamped on the door. I was…

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An Ending of Sorts

I stepped on the downtown pavement for the first time in months, surrounded by masked bodies holding make-shift cardboard signs with words written in paint or permanent marker, saying things like, “I CAN’T BREATHE,” or “NO JUSTICE NO PEACE,” or “SAY HIS NAME—GEORGE FLOYD.” 

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