• Sacred Spaces

    Embracing Closeness

    The past nearly three weeks have been marked by close interiority, the contemplations and conversations that arise from being confined—first, for me, with my second bout of COVID; then, with my mother’s hospitalization (not from COVID); throughout, other beloveds’ health…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Undimmable Illumination

    If you had asked me when I was younger (starting when I was in early elementary school and continuing until not long ago) what superpower I would want, I would have named invisibility, the optic and sonic fading away of…

  • Sacred Spaces

    All the Places to Love

    If a feeling in my bones and heart can be considered official it is this: I’ve spent too much time away from home this year. The last time at home was just a week in between trips away. I was eager and…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Lingering

    A month is a long time to be someplace without your family—your spouse, your children and their spouses, your granddaughter, now out of school for the summer, your siblings and their families—and your other beloveds in the normal rhythms of…

  • Sacred Spaces

    The Time It Takes

    I have had an electrical current of anticipation running through my whole body for the past few months, since I applied for the Alderworks Alaska residency and even more so when I was accepted. This past Wednesday, as the seaplane rounded the…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Holding the Center in the Widening Gyre

    I slept soundly during last night’s violent thunderstorm, not knowing until this morning—with his telling me—of R.’s leaving our bed at 1:20 a.m. to determine if the downpour had turned to hail. In my background awareness of the wild weather,…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Air, Water, Earth, Fire, and Spirit

    I know I’ve accessed an idea that works for me when it produces waves of gratitude and a sense of connectedness and expansiveness as I further contemplate and apply it. One of these ideas is the notion of five essential…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Scent Home

    As a gift last year, my youngest daughter-in-law gave me a mason jar filled with dried, aromatic plants native to the area in southern California where she grew up—removing the lid releases the scent of her childhood home, evoking memory…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Lighting Our Way

    When R. and I were in our 20s, we regularly worked 90-hour weeks to secure a present and a future for ourselves and the children we hoped to have one day. We had a breathless balancing act of hours in…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Two-Step Christmas

    I love sitting in our dark living room with the Christmas tree as the only source of light, with the glow from the mix of small white and colored twinkle strands threaded through its fragrant Frasier Fir needles, both gently…

  • Sacred Spaces

    In One Calendar Year

    One thing that fascinates me about families is what we construct for connections, the ways in which biology and choice act as through lines for creation and continuity. I look at the lucky wonder of R.’s and my three sons…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Life’s Arc on One Bench

    On what should have been a very short subway ride yesterday morning from the Lower East Side of Manhattan to the Dumbo area of Brooklyn with my friend and cohort member K., we stood in front of a seated elderly…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Native Habitats

    If you asked me if I love to travel, I would probably respond with an automatic yes—but I don’t know how accurate that is anymore. When I was in college and scraped together the fare to fly to spend Christmas…

  • Sacred Spaces

    A Little Earthing, Maybe

    I meant to let you know last week that I wasn’t planning to send a welcome to the weekend on Fridays as I usually do (or, you know, as I sometimes wait to do until Saturday) during July, because R.…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Multi-Generational Mermaids

    According to 23andMe, one of my nieces and I share 23.11% of our DNA along 45 segments; given the variety of ways that families form and ours has, I know that my granddaughter and I are about 0% biologically related.…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Lined Up

    I spent most of yesterday at my desk in the corner of our home’s primary bedroom, reading interviews with people in Uvalde and opinion pieces about the overarching situation and recitations of statistics, memorizing the faces of the children we…

  • Sacred Spaces

    No Words for This

    A woman I have known and admired for years told me today that she has a rare and aggressive cancer, that she will soon receive surgery to remove it, that her body will be forever changed by this experience, both…

  • Sacred Spaces

    All Seven Letters

    R. says that one of his happiest memories of time with his mother was when the two of them settled into a long Scrabble game on Sunday evenings throughout his last couple of years of high school. Both of them…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Structures, Sanctuaries, and Sandcastles

    My mind was scattered and sticky this morning during meditation, unwilling to let go of what it landed on, which was images, one after another, of my Greek godlike dad—who became Papa to all of us once he was a…

  • Sacred Spaces

    “Come healing of the limb.”

    You know how tasks—really, any behavior—can be transformed by the intention we bring to them, where the most mundane movements can become an elevated experience through the thoughts and feelings and desires we attach to and reap from our efforts.…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Wishes Come True

    We had planned to spend the last daylight hours of every day of this working vacation exploring the miles of trails here in Bentonville, Arkansas; we looked at the weather forecast before leaving Austin, though, and decided not to even…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Separation Anxiety

    Although my husband and I were considered fully immunized more than a month ago—two weeks after our second Moderna dose—this morning really seemed the end of quarantine for us, as our youngest son (now fully immunized himself) got behind the…

  • Sacred Spaces

    At an Intersection

    Yesterday, on my way driving to pick up a few more ingredients for my oldest son’s 27th (!!!) birthday dinner, I waited at an intersection in the lane next to a mom in a minivan, with two little guys—one maybe…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Easter

    If you celebrate a Christian Easter, I am joining you this Holy Week. It’s a profoundly personal holiday for me, and this is part of what it means: the possibility for renewal and redemption through grace and abiding love. May…

  • Sacred Spaces

    How is the body?

    “How is the body?” my (gifted!) meditation teacher asked of us on our Zoom call this morning, as a prompt for our circle council. How is the body? Her use of an article and not of a possessive opened up…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Mon Coeur

    Valentine’s Day, 32 years ago: My romantic life was mostly a disaster (see earlier “Toast” post for some oblique details—things had continued along those trend lines), but I love love, and Valentine’s Day always feels a bit like Thanksgiving to…

  • Sacred Spaces

    You Were Just Here

    Making the bed in the morning soon after waking is a deeply pleasurable and renewing ritual for me, a direct and physical engagement with the liminal space between consciousness and unconsciousness for my beloveds and me. I love making the…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Perfect. Moment.

    We have a thing we do in our family, a thing we name: Perfect. Moment. The way it works is that we’re going along, and then all of a sudden, there’s a crystallization of time, of sweetness, and we call…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Wrinkles in Time

    When you’ve used your dining table as a desk and your kitchen counter to process the incoming mail, then you have company over for dinner (in the years Before Coronavirus) or the least-excuse “holiday” to celebrate, and you dump all…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Getting and Spending

    I’m kind of amazed at and mystified by people who head out into stores (well, especially this year, in terms of in-person efforts) or even online to shop, shop, shop their way through an entire day of the deals of…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Making the Most of It

    A Bradford Pear is considered a junk tree, short-lived and brittle, prone to breaking in unpredictable ways. We had one, planted by the original owners of our house nearly 20 years ago when it was built, and what a glory…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Rough Places Made Smooth

    When we purchased this home of ours, five years ago next month, the sheet-rocked walls were heavily orange-peel textured, in most rooms painted the old-school Ace-bandage color of a pinkish tan, builder grade (which is to say, cheap and prone…

  • Sacred Spaces

    “I could offer you a warm embrace”

    We set the air conditioning in our house at 80 degrees during the summer, and even then it’s too cold for me. Since our equipment is almost 20 years old and wasn’t high quality to start with, we have an…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Birthday Presence

    Today is my middle son’s birthday, and mine. For the past couple of months, my husband has been asking me what I want for my birthday, but I haven’t been able to provide him with any useful ideas, because here’s…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Far Away from Anywhere

    Our oldest son attended college in Hawaii and fell in love with the state, which is ridiculously easy to do. When I dropped him off there (the second hardest separation of my life thus far, but that’s another story), and…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Love Nesters

    Today is our oldest son’s birthday; his youngest brother’s was exactly five weeks ago, and their middle brother’s will be exactly four weeks from today. With this universe-aligned schedule, their birthdays are on the same day of the week every…

  • Sacred Spaces

    Reflections

    The first time I remember looking at myself in a mirror was when I was twelve years old, after returning home from a weeklong rustic girls’ camp in the middle of the southeastern Alaskan wilderness near my home. The camp…