All the Time in the World

On a late spring day in 1984, I stepped out my front door into the sunshine, proudly hugging my newborn daughter to my chest in a baby carrier we had purchased at a garage sale. Her little legs dangled out oddly, but I supported her neck with deep tenderness. I loved “wearing my infant,” as …

All that We Hide

In our death-denying culture many of us dread going to funerals, and attend only out of obligation. But through the years I’ve found myself mysteriously drawn to many where there was no family expectation of my presence.  We had long since lost touch, and I would not be missed. I pay close attention to these impulses. …

Writers Conferences and Other Scary Things

I’m sure all adults could make a long list of constructive life experiences they avoid out of fear. When I was growing up, I was often coaxed into doing brave things for my own good. I gradually internalized the habit of pushing through my fears. But as an adult I also claimed the right to …

Mystery at Rehoboth Beach

A tiny black-and-white photo showed up shortly after Thanksgiving  among my treasures. On the back of it my mother had jotted, “Rehoboth Beach, Delaware: Aug. 56,” Someone had later taken scissors to the snapshot, cropping out the magical expanses of sand. I entrusted this dreamy image to an artist. She transformed it into a new …

Sassiness and Rage

“You know me, Anne,” my neighbor Phyllis confided to me from her porch. “I don’t put up with disrespect.” Phyllis’s older son, fleeing his hurricane flooded home in Texas, had just come crawling back to her in desperation after being kicked out on his last visit. He brought his mouthy girlfriend and needy young children. …

Second-Guessing God

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. — Marianne Williamson “Break my heart. Oh, break it again, so I can love more fully.” –Rumi When I was in high school my friend Bev, from a devout Italian family, suggested I pray a novena for my father to be cured of his MS. I wasn’t quite sure what a novena …