Painting a Vision

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”  – Billy, age 4, defining love If you were to come to a Red Tent dinner at my home, we would sit in my dining room. The table, purchased twenty years ago at…

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Angel in Red

In my deepest season of grief, I was called to rise up and go shopping for a formal dress for my niece’s wedding. I hate shopping. In the past, my sister Mary would go with me and make me laugh as she fed dresses over the top of the dressing room door. This was our…

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Color Memory

I woke this morning to a fresh snowfall. As I looked upon our crystalline backyard, I observed how the white blanket seemed to hush the noise of the nearby interstate, silence the song of the finches, and dampen my own spirit. The snow stirred my color memory, taking me back to a long-past yet still-tender…

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Casting Out Fear

Nestled on my favorite side of the couch with a well-worn quilt on a quiet Saturday, I make quick work of the book on my lap. I haven’t read A Wrinkle in Time since childhood, and the plot has grown dim over the years, yet I still vividly remember my fascination with the story. I don’t…

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Rhythm of My Heart

Learning about Spanish culture was one part of my college summer school program in Madrid, Spain, and that meant churches, museums, bullfights, and flamenco dances. There were also many visits to nightclubs—called discotecas—but I don’t think my professors considered those part of my cultural education. I thoroughly enjoyed every museum and would gladly return to…

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Devouring Joy

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is it’s way of fighting back,…

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Leaning into the Absurd

It was 3:57 AM. As I bounced back and forth, back and forth, listening to the combination of my “sh sh sshhh” and the creaking of the floor boards beneath my unslippered toes, I stared at the canvas on the wall across from our bed that says, “Be still and know.” I’d been up since…

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The Woman in the Red Dress

In February of 1998, I became that woman. I was a 21-year-old newlywed, trying to finish nursing school and navigate marriage and life. I had a history. This history of chest pain, fainting and exhaustion had been diagnosed as a treatable valve issue. Doctors said I would “grow out of it.” But that year everything…

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Come Home to Your Feminine

Walking down the street in Portland, I was nervous, excited, and unsure about what to expect. Six weeks earlier, I had found the book Wild Feminine by Tami Lynn Kent. It had stopped me in my tracks and helped me to take the path less traveled. Now, I was in Portland waiting for my appointment…

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Examining the Archetype

“The Woman in Red” can mean many things in our culture. She can be the woman that bears the shame of cultural stigmatization that comes with being female and feminine. The biologically associated monthly “red” cycle that reminds her that she is female. This cycle at various points in history was so stigmatized that some…

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