Hand to Heart

“the truth is my hope is mangled. it limps and creaks at night. you speak of hope like a white bird soaring. it’s okay that mine is the battered exhale, a bench with splintered wood.” — Cole Arthur Riley

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Turning the Corner

Passion and Joy. Both are tricky words for me. I’m perhaps beginning to turn the corner on joy. I grew up in a family that claimed to be joyful but hid secrets of sexual trauma, addiction, and abuse. We were a happy, faith-filled family—or so I was told. There were good times, but they were…

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Learning to Breathe

The playground was filled with big third graders. I missed being on the first-grade playground where I felt safe. Second graders had been moved to the main Tremont School campus and recess was now an uncertain time where older third graders roamed. I ran to the swing set and Sally yelled at me to “wait…

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Belonging to Myself

In honor of the tenth anniversary of Red Tent Living, we are featuring a monthly legacy post written by one of our regular contributors from the past decade. Mary Jane Hamilton is one of our original matriarchs; with us from the inception of Red Tent Living, she has helped shape this space with her wisdom,…

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Forever Love

Forever love is a steady kind of change. That’s what I think as I peer over top of the forest in our backyard and see the sun rising in precisely the same way as a year ago—bright and joyous. Already, the leaves are bright shades of orange, cardinal, maroon, and goldenrod. With a series of…

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November Theme: Second Wind

For the month of November the women of Red Tent Living will be considering the theme, Second Wind. We invite you join us by reading the featured essays and poems, and we encourage you to consider hosting a few women from your own circle around a table to share stories provoked by this theme. See…

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Come On In

“When you get here, just come on in. The front door is unlocked,” the text message reads. I park in the circular driveway behind the last in a row of cars. Pausing, I take a deep breath before emerging into the cool fall air. As I climb the few stairs leading to the front porch,…

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Smoky Vision

“There will be a procedure. They are checking out what is going on in his lungs,” she mentions one rainy April evening. My shoe heels click as we walk down the sterile, grey halls of the big city hospital. Someone makes a joke to try to ease the tension we feel in our bodies. My…

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Chance or Choice?

I’m a Boomer. In my childhood home, our telephone hung on the kitchen wall, and every time it rang, shouts of “I’ve got it!” resounded throughout the house as my brothers and I raced from every direction to get there first. Competition often provided the tension that held us close to one another: who got…

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