Of Purple Parties and Fitting In

“The people you love will change you The things you have learned will guide you And nothing on Earth can silence The quiet voice still inside you And when that voice starts to whisper Moana, you’ve come so far Moana, listen Do you know who you are?” from Disney’s Moana The dining room windows are dark,…

Lest We Forget

Take up our quarrel with the foe! To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high! If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields. from “In Flanders fields,” John McRae I was twenty-five years old before I heard of…

Using the Car

I’ve never much liked driving. I realize that this probably puts my American citizenship at risk—a dangerous thing to do at the moment—since automobile affection seems stitched into the fiber of our national being. We’re the nation of the Model T, of giant parking lots and the infinite chain of interstates, of drive-ins, drive-throughs and…

The Time To Be Slow

Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening, like a tree which doesn’t force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lay before them,…

What Can Go Right

Sometimes traffic—the maddeningly unpredictable flow of that greatest annoyance, other cars–can tell important stories. I like to think I’m in control of a great many details regarding my life. Of course I know, in a proper Christ-following way, that God is in control, but lately it’s Seattle traffic that reminds me that sometimes I’m quite…

Ideal World Problems

My phone knows I’m pregnant. Like many moms my age, along with the time-consuming social media and practical tools, my cell phone is currently host to a handful of pregnancy-related apps. My hospital has its own app reminding me about upcoming appointments, and in a moment of uncertainty earlier this week I downloaded a contraction…

American Girls

I’m just going to say that “nesting” made me do it. Nesting, that biological imperative. That habit we share with creatures who spend their last days of gestation preparing a home for their coming little ones. That urge to go to Target just to look at small clothes and different shapes of pacifiers. That millionth…

Mini Pumpkins and Not-Forever Houses

It was a great day when I discovered that Trader Joe’s sells small pumpkins for 69 cents. America and Germany are tied in their veneration of pumpkins. In Germany, I could go to the market and find five kinds of pumpkins suitable for making various types of soup. That’s pretty much what you do with…

The First Day of No School

Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there, To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not, You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy. In order to arrive at what you do not know You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance….

Broken Bowl, Beautiful Bread

I knew what had happened before I saw it. The familiar crash, gravity precipitating a collision between ceramic tile and ceramic dish, and then a groan of disappointment from the dropper. Usually, to be honest, it’s me dropping stuff, but this time it was my daughter, a toddler who remarkably has broken only one mug in…