In many faith traditions, remembrance is a sacred act. A devotion to God. Buddhism in particular offers a definition of remembrance that echoes this stage in trauma recovery. The Pali term sati can be translated as both mindfulness and memory. The Satipatthana Sutta teaches that sati enables us to see the true relationship between all things. We must awakenContinue reading “Remembrance”

Breaking Away

It took me two years. Healing from abuse, finding the confidence to believe that you are capable of leaving—it takes a long time. It also takes seeing the other life that is possible. *             *             * The spring I was 30, I began to make friends with a coworker of mine at the college. WeContinue reading “Breaking Away”

Trouble Finding Your Voice? Try Memoir

I used to have a lot of questions, like “When should I add in detail, and how much detail is too much?” And “How can I know when to use free indirect discourse?” My writing teachers didn’t have good answers to these questions and neither did the writing textbooks I came across. But then, atContinue reading “Trouble Finding Your Voice? Try Memoir”

How Losing My Home Just Before Christmas Turned out to Be a Very Good Thing

No one wants to be told to leave their own home. No one wants three and a half years of tenancy to end in a matter of minutes. And no one wants to enter the holidays homeless and thrown upon the charity of loved ones. But this is exactly what happened to me this Friday.Continue reading “How Losing My Home Just Before Christmas Turned out to Be a Very Good Thing”

On Dressing (and Undressing) at the Public Pool

Americans are weird about nudity. Maybe because we associate it exclusively with sex. To be a nudist in America is not just eccentric—it’s deviant. So deviant, in fact, that it’s illegal. You must have private property, fences, and warning signs—at the very least—to go topless, let alone in the buff. And I’m no exception to American puritanism.Continue reading “On Dressing (and Undressing) at the Public Pool”

What Opens Us Up Makes Us Stronger

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.” Brene Brown I carry this in my pocket now. A few weeks back, I watched Brown’s TED talk “Listening to Shame.” It’s a good reminder–that playing it safe never gets you anywhere. Those places you resist going, the times you’re most terrified of falling flat onContinue reading “What Opens Us Up Makes Us Stronger”

Extreme Sport: Facing Your Fears

So I’ve been on a writing retreat with my novel the last few days and am glad to get back to blogging! And from the quiet space of that retreat, I return to say yet again: one of the most terrifying things about the artistic process is its vulnerability. If you’ve ever seen The King’s Speech,Continue reading “Extreme Sport: Facing Your Fears”

A Sense of Worthiness

For those of you who also grew up watching The Neverending Story (1984), you’ll remember the scene when Atreyu must pass through the First Gate on his way to the Southern Oracle. Atreyu scrambles down the hillside, eager to face his first test. Perched above him, Engywook warns that “the Sphinxes can see straight into yourContinue reading “A Sense of Worthiness”