Gift at Low Tide

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{I’ve just rolled in from the shore and am reaching two years back into the archives to share with you my favorite Palm Sunday ever. Enjoy as you align your heart this holy week.}

Palms waved on Palm Sunday, fronds rattling, applause in the wind. I walked hand-in-hand with my firstborn toward our abandoned umbrella, its fringe fluttering near the shoreline. Bare feet shuffled over sandy cobblestone, felt the grit, the heat. I clicked my tongue like the clop-clop of hooves on that old Jerusalem road before crowds laid down coats and branches to dampen the sound. The rightful King could have come in on a high horse but He picked a beast of burden instead, the animal with a cross on its back, a humble donkey…and a baby one at that. Continue reading

Our Spring Will Come

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Sidewalks are the new riverbed. Water rushes down the slightest incline over cracks that break your mother’s back. Liquid leans over the frozen curb and flows down the path of least resistance.

But not you, little boy. You pick the hard way. Continue reading

On Corsets and Fear {One Word 2014}

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Maggie Smith doesn’t wear a corset. She’s the only woman on the cast of Downton Abbey who doesn’t. I heard this bit of gossip at a recent event with visiting writer Jessica Fellowes, niece of Downton Abbey screenwriter Julian Fellowes. Smith says she’s served her time all these years of doing period dramas in the movies and on television. She’s flat-out done with the corsets.

That’s what I want to say to fear, the way it laces me up tense and leaves me gasping. Continue reading

Chicken Soup for the Jealous Soul

Photo by Nate EmbryHow do you feel about secret recipes, that little pinch of special spice that only so-and-so knows to add to get the perfect combination of flavors? Food blogger and author Molly Wizenberg says the idea is ridiculous. “Recipes are by nature derivative: rare is the recipe that springs, fully formed, from thin air, without the influence, wisdom, or inspiration of other prior dishes,” she writes, “Recipes were made to be shared. That’s how they improve, how they change, how new ideas are formed and older ones made ripe.”

I think we can apply that to pretty much any creative pursuit, from cooking to writing to making music. Sometimes we’re guilty of keeping trade secrets trying desperately to make legends of ourselves and maybe that’s supposed to make us happy. But like the story of the Little Red Hen, if a person isn’t willing to lend a hand to see someone else’s idea come to fullness, they’re not going to reap the benefits when the bread is baked.

I remember one literary agent I chatted with said that at certain writing conferences he attended, even in casual conversation out at dinner, authors would zip their lips about their current projects so as not to leak any details that might give their fellow writers an advantage. It’s a lonely career when you see your contemporaries as competition.

Today, I’m looking at jealousy and the staleness it brings to the creative life. Come on over to my friend Charity’s place and try out my not-so-secret remedy, like a little Chicken Soup for the Jealous Soul.

{This post contains an affiliate link for Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life, a book I “devoured” for my book club last summer. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you, defraying some of the cost of running the blog. The book contains witty and moving stories based around some of Wizenberg’s favorite recipes. Enjoy!}

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