Sunday, March 30, 2014

Inishmurray Island: One Great Irish Spot

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The story of Inishmurray, like all good Irish stories, is a beautiful one, tinged with the sacred and with lament. It is a story of men of great faith, of a hard-working and tight-knit community, of painful farewells, and of the sea. The island still holds the ancient monastery- its church open to the heavens and the weather, a beehive hut still snug and dry. It also contains more weathered remains- the cottages and cemetery of the community who lived and worked, danced and cried, were born and died there until the last survivors left in 1948.

This is just an excerpt from a piece I wrote for "The Wild Geese" about my favorite Irish Spot. Please follow the link to The Wild Geese blog to read more. :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Thoughts on a Car Ride

In the last week, I have been wrestling with the fact that I am not fearless enough with my writing. Too often, I find myself holding back, restrained by a wicked self-criticism that pops up like the literary villain that won't die. Ideas pop into my head in seconds and are just as quickly squashed into nothingness. Like the proverbial devil on my shoulder, the self-criticism hides beneath my keyboard and follows my fingers, taunting my attempts. The most dangerous thought the criticism devil whispers into my ear  is that I have nothing of importance to say. Who do I think I am? I haven't been anywhere, seen anything. I'm tempted to wait for wisdom to knock on the door but I know that wisdom won't find me that way. I want my writing to soar, to inspire, to uncover layers, to stretch the boundaries inside of me and inside others.

But then I find that all I really want to capture right now is the drama of cloud and light playing out on the pavement against the backdrop of a chiaroscuro sky. That's all. And that's everything.

Monday, March 10, 2014


Winter blues. Homework blues. The season of Lent started with a piece of bread, a sip of wine, and an ash cross on my forehead. The sacred and the humble of the season don't match the chaos and rush of these weeks and I try to set some time aside, try to catch my breath, try to remember to feed my soul but I fail at all three things and soon it is the next day. My soul is starving for color, for warmth, for fresh air and Vitamin D, for laughter and silence and sacred. So I seek it out, finding what I need in substitutes, in little things.

My "Mary-Jane's Farm" magazine, like spring in my mailbox. Sprinkling bird seed. A Skype date with Colorado. Mint ice cream-and-movie dates on the couch. Reading blog posts by inspirational women. [This one. (For Lent.) And this one. (For peace.) And this one. (For the power of food.)] Mumford & Sons. Stocking the freezer.

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It doesn't always work but I still keep trying to push back the dark of winter with everything I have, working every day to find the color, wherever it may be hidden. It's out there somewhere.


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