The Tenderness of Pain

I was surprised and not surprised when my thumb started hurting. After all, arthritis, not the Force, runs strong in my family. As they aged, both my grandmother and my mother, once avid seamstresses, watched their joints gnarl like old tree roots; the pain put a stop to cutting, pinning, and basting. At first my […]

Call Me a Dragon Lady (A Guide to Caring for Plants and Other Living Things)

  My dracaena plant has a soft scale infestation. I am just the tiniest bit anxious it is going to die. First off, a dracaena plant, often known as a dragon tree, looks a bit like a palm tree but is not one (yes, I am practically a scientist). I saw it for the first time […]

Why I Call Myself A Sinner

Here is the entirety of the prayer I use the most: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. It’s called the Jesus Prayer, and comes from the Orthodox tradition. I’m not sure where I came across it, but I started using it in as a breath prayer years ago. Concentrating […]

Shame Is The Great Presence-Killer

Why have I heard from God? Why have I not heard from God? *** I was eight. Each night I got out a book of children’s prayers and tried to connect to God after my parents turned out the lights at bedtime. My family was falling apart that year in spectacular ways—in a few months, […]

Is This Renovation? Beatitudes and New Diagnoses

In January, I went to my gynecologist mildly concerned about some itchiness and pain in my nether regions. I expected a simple diagnosis—some kind of weird bacterial infection or an allergic reaction. Instead, I learned that I have a chronic condition called lichen sclerosus (LS), which is believed to be an auto-immune disorder. Basically, my […]