A Modest Proposal

“You can take off your mask now and check your hair and your lips,” the photographer says as I get ready to take my headshots for work.  Check my lips? Oh, right. Women wear lipstick. “My lips always look the same, so they should be fine,” I quip back. As I glance in the mirror, I…

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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…

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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…

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A Bitter Reminder

I was ten years old when I traveled with my mother, brother, and grandparents to Throckmorton, Texas, to spend a few days with my mother’s grandparents. We drove for three days from Ohio and stopped at tourist places along the way. Carlsbad Caverns astounded me. It was as if the “bigness” of the world was…

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The Encounter

I lie still, my back pressed into the blankets on the summer sheets, arms clasped across my chest, eyes closed. I cross my feet. Sinking, sinking, not drowning. Gravity compels the air to form to my body, enclosing me, swaddling me. As my body floats, the bed disappears.

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May You Walk as the Woman in White

Who is the Woman in White? Is she you? Is she me? What does it mean to be the Woman in White? Is she respectfully standing in solidarity with other women as a declaration, or is she the ghost of a beautiful woman who was once scorned or betrayed? Does she represent purity, virginity, goodness, light,…

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The Woman in White

“This is the dress​.” I breathed the words barely above a whisper, just loud enough for my mom and best friend to hear. As I stood in front of the bridal mirror mesmerized by my reflection, I heard my mom break the awe of the moment with a quick clarifying question: “But we can get…

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Shaped by Love

“You know I absolutely adore you.” His words return to me vivid and tender. An evergreen glistened with tiny white lights as raindrops pelted the brick landing of the retreat center before I boarded the airport shuttle. I picture the wild hair and dancing eyes of the kind man holding my face in his hands…

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Love Covers

I stood in the spotlight, strumming the first four chords I’d ever learned on guitar over and over and over again. I couldn’t remember the first note of the song. I’d been playing guitar for over ten years, having played in front of people hundreds of times. A minute went by. Another minute passed and no notes came. One…

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Body Meets Soul

She stares back at me in the mirror.  The dark hollowed eyes, the rounded face, the heavy thighs, the slumped over posture.   I know the contours of her well.  I despise her most of the time.  She doesn’t look like I think she ought to, and she knows it.  I tell her all the…

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