The Realm of Regret

My husband has a phrase that makes sense when he is talking about finances, but sometimes he says it out of the blue. He will say, “I should have bought Amazon.” In 1997, like any academic, Dan purchased lots of books, but that year he began buying lots of books from Amazon. I remember when…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Sins of the Father

Many times, I’ve told myself that I’m my own worst enemy–my own harshest critic. Perfection has been my goal for as long as I can remember. Sometimes this exaggerated need compels me to stop short of completing a task because I know, just know, it won’t be perfect. The roots of this behavior are multi-generational.

Read More

The Cold Metal Scissors

I was proud of my long hair. I was noticed, and I received comments on the “pretty blonde” color which had grown almost to my waist. I bragged about how it had never been “officially” cut, but only trimmed at home. One way my mom showed care for me was with my hair. When I…

Read More

Out of Hiding

Lottie Hillard wrote an article called “The Shame of Needing” that could have been written about me. Fifteen years ago when I was in graduate school for counseling, I recall one of the advisors saying that my shame was gregarious. I carried an air of confidence, moving in relationships with classmates and clients with charm and…

Read More

To Withstand One’s Own Wrath

Entering the office today, before saying hello to anyone, addressing the day’s agenda, or even putting down my bag, I internally itemized a long list of things askew. Pillows awry in room 7. Table decor down in room 3. Side table off center in room 1.  Dirty plate and to-go box in kitchen. And in…

Read More