Category Archives: prayer

Darkness & Light

Lent has officially ended. Today is Good Friday, the second of the three days (Triduum) leading up to Easter Sunday.  Today — or rather, tonight, at sundown — marks the start of  Passover.  I’ve been thinking today about story, without which we wouldn’t commemorate either event.  I’ve also been thinking, this Lent, about trust, about giving up my often desperate grip on control in my own stories.   I’ve been praying, I guess, about letting go.  Today, too, I am struck by the Triduum’s embrace of sorrow and agony, and how those dark places open us up.  Story does that too, … Continue reading

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(You must realize)

…that when he looked, and she looked up at him, their looks so merged in one the world outside grew vacant, suddenly, and all things being seen, endured and done were crowded into them: just she and he… here at the point and at this point alone:- see, this arouses fear. Such fear both knew. When I first encountered those words, my body thrummed. I was weeping without having realized I was moved. I had found my way home. This happened in 1996, at a small church in Berkeley, California, and the words were spoken as part of the sermon. … Continue reading

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Why Manzanita?

I just spent four days in silence.  Every year, I load up the car with warm comfy clothing, good walking shoes that can get wet, ample reading material, knitting, my rosary beads (the Anglican rosary, which I’ve been carrying around for almost twenty years) and prayer book, and drive up to Healdsburg.  To, specifically, the Bishop’s Ranch on the west side of Healdsburg, in the Russian River valley.  This year, it poured rain pretty much nonstop, a welcome saturation in these years of drought, for those above flood level at least.  I arrived at the Ranch around four o’clock on … Continue reading

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Heart Openers

My friend (and former student) Callie Feyen is teaching the writing portion of a writing-and-yoga class in Gaithersburg, Maryland. She shared with me the worksheets for the first class—Enter, Discover, Journey.  The yoga teacher, she added, will be teaching poses to “open the heart” to complement the writing portion. Sounds like the kind of thing we’d do here in California, and for a lot more than $100 for seven classes.  (Maybe the price is a typo…)  Seriously, though, I love heart openers—the yoga poses, I mean.  Here’s one of the simplest:  Take a block, place it length-wise on its side … Continue reading

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Branding

Yesterday over lunch at the Grotto, where I’m subletting office space, another writer (also finishing up her novel) and I got on the topic of branding.  You know, the “author brand.”  I resisted the first time I heard the phrase, but have come to see its helpfulness.  You’ve heard of the elevator speech?  The one where you describe your concept or idea in a limited amount of time—from seven seconds to three minutes—to garner interest from that busy person with whom you’re sharing a metaphoric or actual elevator ride.  The author brand is part of the elevator speech repertory—those succinct, … Continue reading

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