Tag Archives: prayer

Rediscovering Rilke

this post is a slightly edited version of a post that appeared on August 20, 2012, on the Good Letters blog In college, I took a yearlong class on Western Civilization.  Certain images stand out: reading Oedipus Rex on the lawn outside the Life Sciences building and overhearing a student pronounce “Khomeini” with the same initial sound as “challah”—this would have been a month or so before the taking of American hostages; getting an A+ (my only in college) on a paper applying Civilization and Its Discontents to D. H. Lawrence’s story “The Prussian Officer”; hearing a T.A. refer to … Continue reading

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Out of the Faith Closet

When I started blogging, a little more than a year ago, I did so as an exploration of social media as a tool to reach my readers, to “build my brand” as a writer.  I was curious about (and a little intimidated by) the opportunities and challenges of blogging.  I had never logged onto Facebook or Twitter, and all my Friends were people I’d met and talked to in person. I’d also always thought writing a regular column (aka blog) would be fun. So I signed up for Meghan Ward’s social-media class at the S.F. Writers’ Grotto.  If I could … Continue reading

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April Is National Poetry Month

My friend and writing colleague Ilana de Bare has posted a terrific piece on her blog, Midlife Bat Mitzvah, about Adrienne Rich, who died on Tuesday.   Like, I suspect, a lot of women, I heard about Rich before I ever read her poems.  And when I did, I was in grad school taking a seminar on the poetics of desire.  I must admit, I remember Rich’s name on the syllabus more than I recall her actual poetry.  That distinction goes to images from W. H. Auden (on giving head to a younger man) and from a fellow grad student who … Continue reading

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Airing the Laundry

I will be taking off the next three weeks.  My next post will appear Friday, October 21. I’ve never worried about offending anyone while writing.  Maybe it’s all those years of uncensored diary entries about mad crushes and revenge fantasies and how my mother infuritated me – but getting the words down about real people always came easily. The trick, of course, is when the time comes for those people to see those words.  Last month, Meghan Ward posted on her blog, Writerland, about the dangers of airing one’s  “family’s dirty laundry.”   Publishing words – however honest – about those … Continue reading

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Sounds of Silence

A little over a year ago, I picked up A Book of Silence.  The title intrigued me, as did the premise: writer Sara Maitland traveled into silence of the most extreme kind.  She leased a remote cottage on the isle of Skye and lived there alone.  In the tradition of the early desert fathers, she traveled into the Sinai desert to sit in solitude for days (and a few nights).  She forced herself alone into scary dark forests.  She found moments of fear and anxiety as well as great joy and elation.  She encountered a kind of porousness of self … Continue reading

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