Letters in the Night

On the fumes of the night, I found a blog. And on the first hit, I was hooked. Sentences swung back and forth like a hypnotist’s watch. Time faded. And a blog I did devour. It was heaven, and I remembered something about good writing. A good writer makes me want to write. Her art is in letters, in making them into story. A good writer is not afraid to look bad to her audience. She doesn’t take herself too seriously. And she writes her life, however sad or comic or seemingly insignificant, through a lens of redemption and grace.

As I reflect on my favorite writers, the ones I most admire, the ones who most inspire me, I realize something else. The writer writes to fail just as much as to succeed. It is the risk she absorbs every time she sits to write. In writing she merges her pain with her bliss and welcomes her reader to a momentary world where he can make sense of his own. Oh, and we love her, love her so much we steal from her. We’ll take her thoughts and re-word them into the sentence of our own life until they become ours as much as they were ever hers. Continue reading “Letters in the Night”


Though a devastating flood in Pakistan has, as of the time of my writing, taken nearly 300 lives, it got barely a few lines of coverage in today’s news outlets. A thwarted attack on the U.S. embassy in Kabul got a few more lines so far, but I had to search to find news of a bus and train collision in Argentina. Instead, most of what has been deemed newsworthy for American media outlets so far today is financial in nature. Bank of America has announced it will eliminate 30,000 jobs over the next few years. Stocks continue to decline, and the loss of U.S. jobs prompts discussion over regulation review. On the heels of reports come interviews with banking experts and financial pundits. If you are one to agonize over uncertainty or fret over your finances, current news reporting would be great exposure therapy, that psychological technique of helping the fearful overcome their fears by exposure. Continue reading “Newsworthy”

Regarding the Clouds

My 13-year-old has been obsessed with weather since the day she was wobbly legged, teetering from one foot to the other in a toddler rain dance. She could tell me about the towering cumulonimbus with its anvil head and tornado spawning downdrafts by the time she was 5. I remember the hours I spent with her in “exposure therapy,” walking her outside under the porch roof in the middle of a thunderstorm, asking her to rate her fear on a scale of 1-10, then making her stay in the middle of her terror until the 10 backed down to 9, then 8, then 7 before heading back inside. The face-your-fear style of therapy mitigated her storm-related anxieties, but the intrigue of a good storm has continued to captivate her as she’s grown. Continue reading “Regarding the Clouds”