Box of Darkness

“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness,” wrote the beloved poet Mary Oliver. “It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” This past year has been a giant box of darkness–and for many of us that box has been full of smaller boxes–a nesting doll full ofContinue reading “Box of Darkness”

What Draws You?

When I was young, I didn’t write in a journal. I drew pictures. I drew every day, whenever I had chance. Drawing was my way of entering my inner life—my real life–not the life of the culture at large, the world of words and inherited stories. Drawing put me in touch with the world closerContinue reading “What Draws You?”

PAUSE AS PRACTICE

Life is difficult. Even in the best of circumstances, before a pandemic shut down much of the world, the pressures were great. Sometimes the demands were so great, my friends and I would switch into warrior mode. Like Navy Seals, we plotted and planned and pictured, mentally rehearsing the operations to be executed, how toContinue reading “PAUSE AS PRACTICE”

The Practice of Not Knowing

  At times, I wish I had more funny things to say to buoy spirits. But this particular time doesn’t lend itself to humor. Nor is it a time for self-improvement. It’s a time of collective sorrow and grief and fear, a time for sheltering in place (those of us who can) and waiting forContinue reading “The Practice of Not Knowing”

Small Good Things

“After great pain, a formal feeling comes,” writes Emily Dickinson.  “The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs.” After a great shock, a stillness comes. We may be very busy outside, but inside we are still. The world we knew has been blasted away. And even as we go about our days, we are in a stateContinue reading “Small Good Things”

Looking Down the Road

“In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself in a dark wood where the straight way was lost.” –Dante In the middle of a journey across the country I found myself stranded in a broken-down VW van on an empty highway in the Midwest. Just recently I told this story toContinue reading “Looking Down the Road”