All You Can Ever Know

“When we rode home together that afternoon, side by side in the backseat of his mother’s blue sedan, I was silent and so was he, pretending nothing had happened between us that day.  But inside of me, something still and deep, something precious, had broken.”

Within the first chapter of Nicole Chung’s book, All You Can Ever Know, she’s heard her first racist slur.  A schoolmate pulls “his eyes into slits”, sing-song chanting at her before they hop in the carpool together, like nothing happened.  It’s only the 2nd grade, but the parents who adopted her at birth had insisted on being colorblind, which means this is her first introduction to race.

It’s taken me months to figure out why this book was so impacting — why I carried her story around in my heart as one of my own.  Its influence on me didn’t entirely make sense, aside from the writer’s axiom that the more specific and personal the work, the more universal it is.  But there is something more here, something I may not entirely want to talk about. Continue reading “All You Can Ever Know”

The Connecting River

As she drives from Atlanta, away from a city church in the city lights, the darkness frames a distant memory: stars.  Not just the dippers, but “stars between stars, a virtual curtain of stardust upon which the larger constellations were hung.” She’s following these stars to a one-room white clapboard church where she will become its first female rector.  She’s also driving away from a certain striving – which it turns out, will follow her anywhere.

LeavingChurchThis beautiful book by Barbara Brown Taylor (BBT) offers a rare transparency from a person inside the clerical robes.  The countryside speaks to her faith. Its pages are full of spiritual honesty and earthy appreciation, as if Henri Nouwen were lost on a nature walk with Mary Oliver. Continue reading “The Connecting River”

When You First Find Out Your Child is “Out”


Dear Fellow Blindsided Parent,

You now have a secret that is burning a hole in your heart — your child is gay. I’m writing to you because you’re on an unexpected journey with very few road maps. And likely you are as anxious to keep the secret (so you can still blend in), as you are to share it (so you won’t feel alone).

Knowing how alone you feel, I’m going to share 9 things I learned from  Continue reading “When You First Find Out Your Child is “Out””

After It Ends

Yoga class, late sun in the window, glowing onto my face. I’m at work, of all places, in a bright conference room with chairs pushed to the walls. The instructor’s voice is quieting now. Lying back in Savasana pose, a screen of sunlight across my lower eyelashes is more blinding than enlightening. Squinting, I see the Sycamore trunk outside is dappled with patches of color like an oil painter’s melancholy palette.

It’s an ending, he is saying, every new beginning is. Yoga is the balance of opposites, and there is no moment like this one. As this practice ends, the rest of the evening begins, he says, and think about how you will live it.

To me, it’s bigger than an evening. I’ve been told I have just three months Continue reading “After It Ends”