Oh, July.


I want something beautiful.

It’s not enough to take the day by storm,
Or end it knowing I have spent my waking moments
Doing everything I can to save the best dregs from this cup for last;
To keep the course of true love running smooth;
To keep loud opinions tempered and
The slow but frenzied buzz of politics at bay, where it belongs.

Give me the world instead.
I am in need of one good book, a flashlight, and a pair of shoes
That were not made for heavy lifting.

Give me the road.
Less traveled or no,
I’ll take it,
Even if—especially—
It only brings me home.


I thought I saw a light shine

I've been putting off writing this post for ages, so I'll just get to the point. 

The truth is, I'm not sure what I'm doing here.  I don't know who my audience is, nor do I know whom I want it to be.  I don't know that this is my medium.  I don't feel like uploading snazzy pictures.  I'm not ready to talk yet about the Post-It notes stuck to my mind's eye.  That empty chair on my side of the aisle.   How the skyline looks at night from our front window when I can't sleep.  How sweet marriage is, how natural, how hard to reorient one's life around another's.  Saying vows in the mist.  How nothing that happened after my father died felt like it was for me.  The showmanship of death.  The last message he left on my phone.  The very mixed feelings I have about my best friend's moving out of state.  The relief of collapse, of coming undone in a quiet place and admitting--to God, to myself, to the air--that I am simply managing, and that that in itself can be a form of praise when the grief of a loss is deep enough.

These are things I long to press into paper, but I can't.  It has been very quiet here amidst the rush that summer always brings.  I've been waiting.  Waiting, I think, to know with certainty how I feel about the great swing of loss and gain this year has brought me.  I do want to write that, and I will.  

But not here. 

I care too much that the world see a version of me that is honest. I think, though, that what ends up here is more than a little ad hoc and often -- well, sad.  I've always written more when feeling blue.  (Do people still say that?)  And I hate that, in the randomness of it all, this picture you get of me isn't honest.  So, here goes.  Honest thoughts.  Here's what comes to my mind just now: I'm just a girl who got married and lost her father and whose best friend moved out of state, eating Oreos before cardio, struggling with how her identity has changed, interested in making a difference in the world and figuring out what, exactly, that means.  I live in an attic with a wonderful man in the great city of Boston, and I know some wonderful people, and I've experienced some extraordinary things.  I'm funny when you catch me out of print, and I'm genuinely happy.  I just spent a fantastic weekend on the Harbor Islands, playing volleyball in the dirt till I looked like my native roots.  I find great value in my faith, and I want to write about that, but I'm tired of Christian apologetics and aware that I can err on the side of dogmatic in text.  And I hate -- hate! -- dogma.  I'm currently wondering whether people who find it hard to believe in the presence of God believe still in Sin -- and when I say that, I mean the kind of institutional selfishness that lets over half a world live in poverty and grows corn that can't be eaten, never mind the famines raging.  I tend to preach.  I listen to my own sermons.  I get emotional when I don't understand things or am not naturally good at something.  I'm not always nice, and I've abandoned some of my friends when they needed me most.  The opposite is also true.  Fortunately for all of us, I often think, there's Grace.  We may be moving from our current church because of their stance on women.  Then again, we may stick it out and cause a ruckus.  I am notorious for drinking half a beer and getting bored with it, but I can handle a bottle of tequila.  I'm not reading enough and I'm not writing enough, and I'm overdue on my thank-you notes.  I sing a lot -- out loud, to other people, to myself.  My house is halfway unpacked.  It's six o'clock on Thursday evening, and I'm still in my pajamas.  The Oreos are gone.  I feel a move across the ocean or to another coast is on my horizon.  I'm not sure how I feel about that or what it will look like.  I need a new book to read.  I miss my piano.  And that cardio ain't kicking itself.

So, friends, to sum it all up: I'm rethinking this blog.  I am not sure what its future is, though it has one.  We've been talking about using it differently than as a dumping ground for half of my feelings -- perhaps writing together on life in Boston, on marriage, on going green slowly but surely, on our kitchen mishaps with all our new toys.  (Seriously, one a week!)  But the intensity of the past few months, and how I reacted to them (or failed to) on this blog, illustrate to me that it essentially isn't serving any real purpose for me.  I would love for that to change.  I would love for it to feel all shiny and new.  As we think about that, I have to admit I keep this link open more out of my own curiosity than anybody else's.  It seems to me that the things I have to say belong in other places, either squirreled away in journals only my children see or out in a different kind of open. Unfortunately, I'm kind of all-or-nothing -- and since this little experiment isn't getting my all at the moment, you know which camp it lands in. 

Till then.


It is in ever-fixed mark

Well, this is it: in 48 hours, I'm making good on my four-year promise to "marry that man."

As you can see, he's got a habit of losing wagers/gambling bets when it comes to me. What can I say? Lucky in life, lucky in love.

Off to adventure. So long!



I wish I had bigger words, and better, for all of this. I wish that, right now, I knew how to explain the emptiness his absence leaves. I wish I could do more than know that, for the rest of my life, I will think of his and how it helped to prove mine. I wish I could adequately -- effectively -- say how grateful I am for the many, many kindnesses and thoughtful words that have been shown to me these past few weeks.

My father died unexpectedly a month after my last post. More than anything, I wish that I could parse out the pieces of hope I find in knowing what I know and how I know it: that death and life walk hand in hand with one another. That they give each other meaning. That there is life and hope beyond this, and that it was the greatest honor I have known, and an even greater measure of Grace, to hold my father's hand as he entered into it at last.

This is faith, then. To believe in what you cannot write with your hands, what you cannot form with your tongue. To choose to see when the way ahead is dark.

I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again, look for me under your boot-soles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.

- Walt Whitman


Writing Letters in This Dark

When I write, I want the page to open, like a gift.
I do not want to have to work so hard to say that
I am well, and that I think of you often, and that
the thing I cannot figure --
the thing that must be said, that cannot be said --

Is how to cross from my world into yours,
How to carry you with me wherever I go.


from memory

Let me not
to the marriage of true minds
admit impediments.

Love is not love
which alters when it alteration finds
or bends with the remover to remove -- oh, no.

It is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken,
It is the Star to every wandering bark.

[something, something] height be taken.

[Something, something, something, something,
something something, big finish]:

And if this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ,

And no man ever loved.