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People that go bump in the night

Karen lives in a church based intentional community – almost a dozen unrelated people who have chosen to pool their resources and share a large crumbling mansion in the suburbs. One night this happened. Shadows pool so deeply at the bottom of the stairway that it would have been easy to miss the woman standing…

Migratory birds

Cape Porpoise, Maine, 2007. The first snow has come. But why, I wonder, do they always speak of snow as blanketing, as if comforting, warm? Underneath its smooth spread surface I can only imagine a seering cold. On Saturday the ducks hunted for their lunch in icy shallows, pecking algae through a film of ice, advancing spectre.…

Treehouses

Spoken word/ music track from the Poor Clare EP: In Time. Listen below.   If it’s true there is hope for a tree cut down, I will walk from Alaska down to Patagonia with an axe in one hand and seeds in the other, planting treehouses along the way because even vagabonds need a place…

Coming to this place

This past year my family of six packed up and moved 10,132 miles from our beloved hometown of Seattle to the captivating East African island of Madagascar. Despite the novelty and wonder of living in such an amazing tropical locale (which is also one of the ten poorest countries in the world), I find that occasionally…

I am the tree fort

THE SHIRE SITS mid-mountain on the rise, home to my sweet hobbit parents. It’s there in the woods where I learned to make camp, play house, and build four walls with my imagination into any space available. A giant evergreen grows in front, jutting out from the ridge. It used to scare me in its…

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

The term rainbow baby was coined to describe a child who is born following a loss with the idea that the light of the rainbow inspires hope after experiencing darkness. While I don’t like thinking of the baby we lost as a storm, I do appreciate the sentiment. We were just on the fringe of…

Motherhood vignette

My four-year-old son is having a rough day. His cardboard box spaceship wing broke, and his valiant efforts to repair it with packing tape are foiled when I see the tangled wad of sticky waste and tell him I’ll help him finish in the morning. His eyes fill with tears and his voice gets squeaky,…

Arrows into darkness

It was the mid-eighties. I went to an urban elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee. My best friend Sunny had apple round cheeks and wooly pigtails tied off with bright double-ball elastics. I, with butt-length hair and bell-bottoms, was the unwitting victim of parent fashion crimes, but she loved me anyway. And I loved her. It…

Keeping Time

WOE TO THE waiting The riskers for taking For thinking too seriously I’ve mustered and busted And cornered and clustered And wrestled with moments like these The stuff of life begs and it pleads for attention The thief steals creativity That cruel spy is timing To ruin and live by I’ve rushed and I’ve hustled…

Reverse the polarity!

Every definition of the word ‘invest’ involves money, time, or elevated meaning. It’s a rich word with long-term connotations, the opposite of our fast-paced, instant gratification, Altar of Convenience culture and its consequences. To invest is to resist, to rebel against the zeitgeist. And in this polarized political climate, it might be what saves us.…

Fired Up on the Turnip Truck

I slammed the sliding glass door of my dad’s apartment and hurled myself onto his hunter-green futon in a cluster of sobs. Concerned, my dad ran out of the kitchen, dish and drying towel still in hand. “What’s wrong?” he asked. “Senior awards are coming out soon and for the first time they are going…

Find a way

On February 14, I will be publishing my second full-length novel at a whopping 126,000 words. Six months ago, I only had 15,000 words of it written. I had fallen into a deep, cyclical case of writer’s block. Every time I even thought about writing, I got sick to my stomach with panic. I was…