Just then a high, mournful sound broke in upon Stephen’s dream–a slow, sad song in an unknown language and Stephen understood without ever actually waking that the gentleman with the thistle-down hair was singing. It may be laid down as a general rule that if a man begins to sing, no one will take any … Continue reading

A Word about Sisters

From Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, by Gabrielle Hamilton. I’m listening but I’m also working. The thing with Melissa is that I fully and completely and 100 percent understand and comprehend what she is saying–to its fullest meaning–within the first fifteen seconds. And unfailingly by the end of the … Continue reading

from “Brown Girl Dreaming.”

The Reader When we can’t find my sister, we know she is under the table, a book in her hand, a glass of milk and a small bowl of peanuts beside her. We know we can call Odella’s name out loud, slap the table hard with our hands, dance around it singing “She’ll be Coming … Continue reading

Cold Tangerines.

I picked up Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist at a used book sale over the summer. Full disclosure: I did not expect to love this book. Nonfiction titles from Christian publishing companies usually aren’t my favorite, but I listen to Shauna regularly on the Relevant Magazine podcast and I read her book “Bread and Wine” … Continue reading

The Charlatan’s Boy.

You know how there is that one book on your shelf that has been there a long time but, for one reason or another, you just haven’t read yet? And then one day you actually do pick it up and start reading and it’s suddenly clear that RIGHT NOW is the time that was pre-ordained … Continue reading

Sister Monica Joan.

I’ve enjoyed watching the first few seasons of “Call the Midwife” on PBS, once it reaches here from across the sea in England. I recently picked up the memoir that this midwives-in-1950s-East-End TV show is based on. It’s decidedly more gritty and dark and matter-of-fact than the TV adaptation is, but most of the same … Continue reading

When It Don’t Come Easy.

Red lights are flashing on the highway I wonder if we’re gonna ever get home I wonder if we’re gonna ever get home tonight Everywhere the waters getting rough Your best intentions may not be enough I wonder if we’re gonna ever get home tonight But if you break down, I’ll drive out and find … Continue reading

Hold Fast.

From Hold Fast, by Blue Balliett. (Scholastic, 2013). ***************** Dashel Pearl offered words to his kids from the day they were born. A man who loved language almost as much as color or taste or air, he explained to his daughter, Early, that words are everywhere and for everyone. “They’re for choosing, admiring, keeping, giving. … Continue reading

Kate DiCamillo. WHAT.

I read this today in Kate DiCamillo’s The Tiger Rising (2001). Willie May uncurled her fist and showed Sistine the wooden bird that Rob had carved. “Oh,” said Sistine. And Rob realized then why he liked Sistine so much. He liked her because when she saw something beautiful, the sound of her voice changed. All … Continue reading


Today’s passage in Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner (HarperCollins, 2008) is from his novel Godric, and it’s lovely. (The ghost of St. Cuthbert is talking with Godric; Glythwin is a rabbit.) “THE NIGHT I DIED, they waved lit torches to and fro from that high ledge behind you there to tell my … Continue reading