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Mothers, makers, miracles

This article is part one of a two-part series on parenting and pursuing a creative vocation. Part two will appear next month, June 2017: Retreat. Being both a mother and a creative is a catch-22. Unless you are one of those rare and mythical creatures who can make a living from your creative work in…

What He Fought For

I WONDER WHAT HE THOUGHT as he walked onto that cold grey-washed battleship. The gangplank long and ominous from shore to dock to deck onboard with tiny windows evenly dotting each level. Smoke stacks tall and towering met rails with lined edges and rope cords hanging like jewelry.  The Pearl was an odd concrete brick block…

Better together

When you grow up in a religious family, unless you have parents who actively model and discuss otherwise, chances are you’ll internalize the implicit and sometimes explicit message that men are better suited for leadership, women should be submissive, and all will be well. This is only reinforced by popular culture, but in a religious…

Communion of Saints

Spoken word/ music track from the Poor Clare album: Like the Tide. Listen below.  . I want to know the god my own unbelieving self can believe in. The one who sides with justice, because there is no other side to take. Who doesn’t fit in holy books, because she is bigger than the bigots reciting…

Girls go to Jupiter

“I feel like a planet with a lot of other planets stuck to me.”  Rubina Doreen, Age 3.5 It was one of those off-hand preschool-aged musings said with a sigh in between throwing a tantrum, eating a bowl of macaroni and cheese, and testing out markers in her new Ninja Turtle coloring book. And for…

Turning

Seattle traffic sucks.  Day and night—all the time.  Anyone who lives, goes to school, or works anywhere near the city complains about it. Whether they drive, bike, walk, ride the bus or watch it from their couch on King 5 news, the traffic brings people down… or in my case, ignites every suppressed fuse of…

Regrained

I have a good poker face. With three older brothers, it served me well through my childhood. I learned quickly that they wanted to get a reaction out of me. If their teasing didn’t seem to bug me, they would leave me alone. I learned to control my emotions by pushing them down, relaxing my…

It wasn’t always like this

A phone call for my husband. I call him, then go looking. He’s not in the den. Or the bedroom. A knock on the bathroom door gets only silence. I realize he may be ignoring me, so I call: “Gary, it’s a phone call from your work.” If he thinks it’s someone important who wants…

The One With the Steak Dinner

I love the Y. Early in the morning, almost empty, I’m the youngest one in the changing area and the first one in the water. They like to call me “little girl.” Could be derogatory. I choose to believe it’s endearing, that they think I am endearing. The water is cold at first. Slow wade…

Two dreams and a memory

You stood on the concourse, ready to depart with Diesels, red hoody, and me. But not me. She was awkward, overweight. “We’re going to Hawaii to think about this relationship,” you say, arm around this other version of myself as I stand on the curb, seeing you off. “Verdict upon return.” . Years later, I entered…

Practices of community

I regretted it as soon as the words were out of my mouth. People started to stare at me, but instead of calming down or apologizing I kept shouting angrily, frustration mingling with embarrassment. Here I was, a grown woman, yelling at a grocery store employee because a sign taped to the credit card machine…

Pulled Punches

I order my coffee and begin to mine my wallet for the elusive punch card.  As a small line builds behind me, I shuffle through receipts, random bills, and coupons that I still hope to redeem even though they expired last November.  A minute later, it surfaces. Just one more punch to go. I get…