Blog Posts

LITERARY SONOGRAM

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    Expectant women wail, “I just want this baby to be BORN! I want this pregnancy to...

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The Muse, the Thesaurus, and Me

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    In January I gave myself a wondrous gift: a week away to do...

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The Homeless Man Who Helped

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ON CHRISTMAS DAY I scanned an email entitled “Repaying a Homeless Man’s Kindness,” reprinted from Huffington Post and sent...

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“FRIEND, GOOD.” [quote from Dr. Frankenstein’s “monster”]

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    1538953234_59b4799eab_m_frankensteinA dinner guest the other night (this photo is not she!) said that she wished she had more friends. Our lively group around the table grabbed that word, and we were off, launched into yet another interesting conversation for the evening.   My contribution to...

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Assisted Dying, Oregon and Oklahoma

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In the October 24, 2014 issue of The Week magazine, on facing pages, two brief articles stare across...

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The Best Hour of the Year

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clock photo   This morning I thought about one special hour of the year, and how much I look forward to it.   It always happens in autumn – a bonus, because that’s my favorite season of the year. This single hour has had a strange history, morphing around the calendar and around...

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BEING-WITH IS HEALING

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For thirty years my attention has been focused on people who are marginalized in our culture. People who are physically, mentally, or addictively ill; people who have no home; people who are isolated in their homes; people who are dying.

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I’m...

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Enchanted by Words Beyond My Ken

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  Last night I thumbed through the August 2014 issue of Scientific American. I stopped at an article entitled “The Black Hole at the Beginning of Time” (by Afshordi, Mann and Pourhasan), which postulates a cosmic black hole that preceded the Big Bang.   Read More

ANATOMY OF A ROPE

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rope-193978_640       A writer who is a poet tends to see things as metaphor.  I am a writer/poet, and sometimes I drive myself crazy noticing a thing and knowing there is a delicious but elusive metaphor there, just waiting to be penned.   Last week I travelled from my home...

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"Holler" Gospel

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DSCN3595_2       ON A BEASTLY HOT/HUMID JUNE DAY in Ervine, Kentucky, we were devouring sandwiches and iced drinks at a small air-conditioned coffee shop. Sitting across from me was my niece, Vicky; many years ago she picked this area as the perfect place to live, work, and create community,...

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The Verb “To Outside”

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  control-147678_640     Outside v. t. to place beyond the regular bounds; to oust; to reject the Dictionary according to Cynthia       Yesterday I emailed a friend with my regrets that I couldn’t join her at a workshop she’s attending. I had a commitment to a continuing education day, required to maintain my professional...

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Whales at a Saltwater Margin

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Two weeks ago my 14-year-old granddaughter and I went in search of gray whales. Jessica, a Michigander, had never been on saltwater before, had never seen a wild whale. Aboard the Mystic Sea, a 100-foot whale watch boat harbored in Langley,...

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YOU'RE A WINNER !!

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Last night I saw the movie “Nebraska.” It’s a story about Woody Grant, an old man who is convinced that he has won a million dollars...

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SPIRITUAL COMPOSTING: Letting the margins come to you

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face in news

I write a lot about going from the middle of our culture to its edges, where our marginalized people find themselves. I encourage my readers to encounter those margins for themselves, to discover the richness and the wisdom that live there. But when...

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All-Night Laundromat

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bubbles-blue:orange

Recent research says that

while we sleep

our brain cells shrink,

making room to let

the sap they swim in

wash away the toxins of the day.

Tonight I crawl between the sheets,

pull the...

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COASTLINE

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"COASTLINE" DSCN3803   In the writing of my “Marginal Eyes” manuscript I had to ride my Thesaurus pretty hard, finding a variety of synonyms for “margin.”  Nuance was called for. The “margin” I was writing about in this paragraph: was it a “fringe,” a “periphery,” a “boundary,” a “rim,”...

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A DEEPER QUESTION

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dandelion_seeds_macro_238806     Margaret has just been given a six-to-twelve-month prognosis. She’s in pain from the metastasized cancer, and a little wonky from the meds prescribed for the pain. She’s wrestling with the decision of whether or not to take another course of chemotherapy. Should she do...

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Go Fly A Kite!

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The emergency equipment I carry in my car includes four kites, four reels of kite string, and two pairs of gloves. That’s because of what I learned as a hospital chaplain. During my training for chaplaincy certification...

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The Most Generous Art

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The thing I love about the performing arts is the generosity of it all. The rehearsals, the talents, the risks, the giving-ness of a performance, all so that I may enjoy, be amazed, be moved, be transported. There is a reciprocity to a performance, a giving and a receiving that flow back and forth across...

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Confessions of a Professional Labyrinth-Walker

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How did I come to be in all of the cultural margins in which I've served? My favorite answer to that question is: God's great sense of humor. LabyrinthAnother good answer is: by putting one foot in front of the other, moving incrementally in...

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Meeting in the Margins - A Book Having Its Way with Me

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All I wanted to do was tell the stories, the best of the stories from my twenty years of work in the margins of our culture. So I wrote stories of the street people and the isolated people, the sick people and the dying ones, the creative people and the clever ones, the needy people and...

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