From Guest Contributors

Our guest contributors are kindred spirits who also have the writing bug. Some are dear friends and some are writers we admire but don’t know personally. Their bios are included at the end of their individual articles.

Learning to swim

I didn’t have to put much effort into healing until my brother Derek died. There had been heartbreak in saying goodbye to my grandparents, my aunt and my uncle. Even after all of the miscarriages, I knew I would survive. I felt, and still feel deep pain from those losses, but until I lost my…

Nourishment

On March 3, 2019, we adopted our daughter, Evelyn. I imagined future conversations I would have with her about her changing body, and froze at the thought of trying to teach her about something my body had not done since I was 15-years-old.   For ten years, I desired to heal – I just wanted my…

First love

I cry at the drop of a hat. It’s true. Anyone who knows me can vouch for this. Puppies, families enjoying a sunny day at the park, a toddler’s first skinned knee, a failed fledgling on the sidewalk, impromptu acoustic jams, a tiny tomato trying desperately to reach its full potential under the gray northwest…

the missile silo

the first morning we ate crackers and canned peaches with protein powder as the sun rose past the scrub brush trees and the missile silo doors and I imagined the doors flung wide to spend a dozen Titan AE-1s at our foes, real and imagined, while the boys around me chattered like the apocalypse was…

Trampled plants and other (seemingly) hopeless things

Winters here aren’t marked by blankets of snow. The gardens never have to be put to bed, but are converted to take advantage of the cool rainy season that allows us to grow the leafy greens, broccoli, garlic, and carrots that tend to wither under our summer sun. Even so, I spend that season dreaming…

Beautifully Human

Beautifully Human is a song that is a simple push back of anyone who might think that a person is less than because of the color of their skin or anything in their outward expression that might be considered different or other. It is a celebration of the sacredness and value of every human being…

In pieces

I grew up in a world where I was obligated to forgive. You must or else. The “or else” was never clear. God holding a grudge, me teetering on the edge of hell was a threat. As a child I just knew it was bad and my salvation was at risk. I must forgive and…

Grief is a lonely place

On October 22, 2013, I went into labor unexpectedly at 23 weeks of gestation and gave birth to my firstborn.  Leonardo came into our world and 56 minutes later, he left it. When you go into the hospital to deliver a child, you don’t expect to leave without a baby in your arms. That walk…

The blue chair

It’s summer. Bright light pours into our tiny living room and over the L-shaped sectional that we disassembled to fit the space. My husband has recently acquired his grandmother’s navy blue leather recliner, which we have lovingly squeezed into the remaining space. One wall of the living room is occupied nearly completely by a single…

Hard prayer

     I go about my days  as I would have done them as if nothing was promised  as if nothing would change I’d hate to disrupt the peace of things that              would not have me back I’d hate to be given what is not suited for me  …

-Fine tune feeling-

I go out into the morning, I try not to tune the feeling too much. If I can make one line that is true, it is enough. Just before I had spent hours trying to be important and what a waste it was. My work looking up in state of permission asking, “Is it good enough…

Welcome to hellstrip

The parcel of land goes by many names. Hellstrip, planting strip, outlawn, greenway, verge. It is that space between the sidewalk and the street, a sort of no man’s land that might be filled with sod, a tree, or dirt piles and dandelions. The verge in front of our home was largely barren when we…

Love in the time of coronavirus

  Wednesday morning.  4:00 a.m. or so.  Another worry-filled day approaching. As I continue to rest in my warm, comfortable bed I begin my ritual of praying for my kids, grandkids. When I get to my Parkinson’s list I get hung up thinking about Tom and his wife Jeanie*. I finally get up, let the…

The second bedroom downstairs

the second bedroom downstairs   you can have the second bedroom downstairs move in your boxes and don’t mind how the crows will scream at the glory of another sunrise every damn day just – put away your books and focus on the light come dappled through the trees and above you my soft footsteps,…

Home

The spring is oncoming, and that just remind me all about my old home Vietnam. During the middle of January, we will celebrate Vietnamese traditional holidays. You might not know the name of it so Vietnamese we called: “TET holidays,” which means new year for us. It’s been more than 2 years. I don’t remember…