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.

The impossible possibility of leprechauns

A photo of me sits on the corner of my desk, a photo in which my five-year-old self looks smilingly into the sun of some 1960 summer morning, certain that anything was possible. I look at this photo and think that this younger me was right. It has taken decades to return to that truth,…

Possibilities

If you are a human being it is possible that:   you will make a mess of things, multiple times you will find yourself on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro someone you love will break your heart, crush your spirit, and make you forget who you are for awhile you will water ski on perfect, glassy…

Pittsburgh

At night I dream of Pittsburgh. I dream of a small studio apartment with a single jug of milk in the fridge, of a spring mattress and unmade sheets, and of a cat waiting by a half-full water dish. Of shades drawn and flickering shadows cast across the nighttime floor as I stumble through my…

Magnificat

The Opiate Mass is releasing an Easter album. This song is a piece based on the biblical text of Mary in the book of Luke. It’s a sacred piece, full of possibility. Enjoy listening to the song and reading the lyrics below. LYRICS Anima mea magnificat dominum     My soul proclaims your greatness, O…

Now for the LoVeWork

Remember what it was like before you became  Roommates with responsibilities Brother and sister  Bickering under your breath   We can hear you We can see you We hurt for you  And we always LoVe You   I think if you touch one another In more ways than one Physically, emotionally and spiritually (LoVe is…

Dazzling and cruel

In Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard writes of a patient who was blind since birth but can now see after cataract surgery. There were significant anomalies in their perceptions of space and time. Someone who was trying to learn how to use his new skill would take off one of his boots and throw…

A depressed Sisyphus* watches The Sopranos in bed

*Sisyphus, from the Greek Myth, was a king charged with the eternal punishment of endlessly pushing a boulder uphill, a boulder which would only, once it got to the top, roll all the way back down again. A just keep swimming mantra of old times. Albert Camus, that philosopher of the absurd, imagines Sisyphus not…

When the impossible seems possible

I often doubt myself. Am I smart enough? Am I a good mom? Am I good at my job? Am I a good friend? Am I a good daughter, sister, wife? As trying as this last year was for me, it was a building year: of friendships, family, life, and myself. In July 2018, I…

Hands

It was not old, as trees count years, when it succumbed to disease or gravity or storm. I found it lying on the beach at the base of a cliff, its naked frame silver and black. Worn root stumps reached from the butt, fingers scoured away by surf and time. I spied a stone grasped…

When the light is gone

As a man who walks daily with depression and anxiety, I often find myself in the darkness wondering what happened to my life. Dreams and possibilities seem to have fled into a yawning cavern of disappointment and meaningless loneliness. Reality reverberates with a cacophony of anxious voices echoing despairingly in my soul. It is from…

The last penny

I have always loved presents. As the youngest of four kids and the daughter of a pastor, getting something new—not second-hand, slightly-used, or hand-me-down—delighted me to the core. But as the last of the sibling pack, it was ONLY on my birthday or at Christmas that I didn’t have to fight for what was in…

Like it or not

Festive is a popular adjective this season, like it or not. We toss it with the lights, mix it with the carols, and blend it with the eggnog. It’s persistent, and every Christmas season it cheers us up again. Festive has a history. An Old English word, it derives from the Medieval Latin noun festivalis…

Farm to table to freedom

When we set the table that night it felt like a normal dinner. Aaron was out at the grill blackening the salmon, a friend had come by to help me chop veggies, and I answered the door and hugged our friends like we would any other night. Filling our table was something we had always…

White space

Last year’s winter had me on the cusp of a third trimester waddle. The house was snug under candlelight and what could only be termed an explosion of blankets. My hands rested on a foreign, stretched body to feel movement of life within. It was hard to breathe, but I could. It was harder to…

Solstice

The night is long, and I am driving. A pilgrimage, of sorts. I left at midnight, the dark highway unfolding in front of my headlights, the comfort of familiar things in my rear-view mirror. The flash and festivity of the Christmas season felt hollow, garish, false. I’m past the peak of adolescent angst, but still…

4 Poems

1. As I lean against the wall of Byen Bakery, half-drowsed in the still warm, thinning light of October, I spot the familiar long stride of my niece Amelia. The bundle against her chest is my first great-niece Murron, and suddenly the day gets larger, the heavens go deeper. Inside, glass cases gleam and chrome…

A new kind of festive

What does it look like to start over again during the festive season? It looks like my husband and I making our annual trip to the Belfast International Market one last time before we made the move back to the States. It looks like a house full of moving boxes, barely unpacked, sitting next to…

The little things

The holidays can be fun and stressful all at once. Not everyone looks forward to them, and for some it’s their favorite time of year. Change was at the forefront of my last Christmas. Navigating a divorce, the passing of my sweet sister-in-law, a move to a different city—loss was everywhere. There were holes in…

Bittersweet

On Tuesday, August 21, 2015, after a 12-½ year battle with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), including almost four years’ separation, my husband, Patrick, now with U.S. Legal Permanent Residence (LPR) status, landed at SeaTac International airport.  Our 8-year-old son, Solomon, and I were waiting anxiously and I sobbed with elation and relief…

Seeking hoogly

My mom was the one who told me, after hearing it from Betsy Brown, a close friend in Atlanta. “It’s just so hoogly,” she said, describing that perfect cozy feeling when you’re snuggled right where you want to be with the exact people you want to be snuggled with. Betsy told her it was a…