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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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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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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Losing One’s Self

Before me sits a well-groomed 75-year-old man named Richard. His button-down shirt is tidy, and his khakis are well pressed. He is a former pilot and used to being in control. He is witty and quick to answer, navigating questions with a rapid side step. One would never know just by talking to him. 

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Holy Stones and Horny Toads

Who knew the small stone would ricochet off the rockface? Before I hurled it, my imagination assured me it would shatter into pieces to mirror the condition of my heart. Instead, the ricochet honors my teetering emotions in the tension of joy and sorrow. 

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