(and a few recordings)
Here are a handful of my favorite pieces of writing, published around the web over the past decade or so, along with a few podcast episodes.
The Feast of the Visitation (podcast)
The origins of the Feast of the Visitation are found in a Byzantine rite, celebrated on July 2, when the story of the Visitation was read as part of the Feast of the Deposition of the Holy Garment of the Theotokos. If you’re wondering what the Feast of the Deposition of the Holy Garment of the Theotokos is, you’re not alone. I had to look it up, too. Listen to the episode.
Evensong, Heading East
Somewhere in eastern Montana I finished reading Gaudy Night. I closed the book and stared out the train window. In the westering light, green and gold fields rolled away from the tracks in undulating waves clear to the horizon. My eyes smarted, and something in my chest ached. The train’s whistle blew, a plaintive song fading into the distance….Read More.
Light Across the Water
On a dusky evening early in January, I walked down to a little park perched on the edge of a cliff that overlooks the Sound. My eyes stung with the cold as I stood beside the holly tree at the viewpoint. Seagulls swooped in dark silhouette against the orange-pink sky, and a lone light shone on the far side of the water…. Read More.
St. Mark the Evangelist (a podcast)
In the year 828, two Venetian merchants were in Alexandria, Egypt. Their names were Buono da Malamocco and Rustico da Torcello. At the time, all Egypt was held by the Abbasid Caliphate, whose governor in Egypt was tearing down Christian churches and using the material to build mosques… Listen to the rest.
During Lent I’ve been re-reading the synoptic gospels, and have been struck with special force by all the times Jesus performs a miracle of healing and then tells the person, “Don’t tell anyone.” To the leper, the blind man, the deaf-mute, even the crowds, he says, “Don’t tell anyone….” Read More.
A Tree Planted By Water
I’ve been learning a lot from my garden this year. In the spring, I was pulling volunteer tomato sprouts out of one of my vegetable beds. I found it painful to rip up these thriving new plants, all those free tomatoes, a gift from last year’s crop. It felt wasteful, even wrong, to rip them up by their roots. A little voice whispered inside my mind… Read More.
Dust and Glory
The sky is blue today—that perfect, clear cerulean blue that only comes when the days are beginning to cool. A breeze stirs the leaves of the Japanese maple outside my window. Some of its leaves are beginning to turn red, and its helicopter seed pods shine coral in the sunlight… Read More.
Adoration of the Christ Child (a poem)
O Thou who always art all everywhere
Art now confined in this small space, defined
By skin and muscle, skeleton; you wear
A baby’s face—eyes, cheeks, chin, lips like wine
Or blood….Read More.
Planting Bulbs: Christ the King
Last month I spent three afternoons planting 200 daffodil bulbs in my yard. Daffodil bulbs don’t look like much. They’re brown and a bit wrinkled. Looking at them you’d never be able to tell that they were going to sprout into green shoots and yellow or white fluted flowers. And burying these hard, brown, wrinkled knobs in six inches of dirt isn’t exactly intuitive, either. Why would you bury something if you want it to grow? Read More.
Goodness and Grief
Last month I took my seven-year-old twins to the optometrist. Both my husband and I got our first pair of glasses when we were seven, so I figured it would be a good time to see how their vision was. To my surprise they were nervous about this visit. As we waited for the doctor to come into the exam room, their nervousness grew. When I asked them why, they exchanged a long look….Read More.
Small Things: On Ordinary Time
A cloudy-ish day, yesterday found me out in my front yard, reclaiming my flower beds from the encroaching weeds. I began this work in May and knew it would take me all summer to finish. I’m nearly done with the largest bed, but I have two more, which together are about the size of the one I’m not quite finished with yet. Clearly, I will not be done by the end of summer….Read More.
Back in Tune
For this, for everything, we are out of tune…
When William Wordsworth penned those words in 1802, they were true enough. Now, they seem positively prophetic. We are a people wildly out of tune with the harmony of the universe, and so tone deaf we do not even know there is a tune. Read more…
Body and Blood (a poem)
In wedding white I lift laughing lips
to rain, dance my daughter across
grass green and lush and luminous
beneath grey skies and my heart cracks
with the weight of sorrow and
love…. Read More.
Consider the Birds
On the morning of the equinox, I sent my twins outdoors to gather leaves for our botany study. They got as far as the French doors that lead to the patio and stopped cold. “Mama!” one cried. “Look!” Read more…