What the Young Man Said in the Stairwell

Chongqing, China

The thought of having to be around people is cause for anxiety and Joshua says that’s probably a motherly instinct. People are usually either trying to get you to glorify the past or expound on a future one can’t possibly know. It may even be blaspheming to try. Mothers of newborns must be present and attentive constantly, with very little room for error. No, I don’t know where I’m going to call home in three months, and it’s not my concern. God knows. But they who worship the god of security don’t even know how to hear this, let alone accept my decision to trust.

Yesterday I realized it was the tenth anniversary of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. On that day I was working in the tallest building in Chongqing, a metropolis 300 miles from the epicenter. As I was teaching a class on the 15th floor, I felt the whole classroom start to sway. Read More

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Intrigued

Painting by Angela Moulton

Driving home with Taj Mahal barely on the stereo, as the sound of the southern valley wind through cracked windows was blasting in my ears, I rounded a curve on the descent into town and very clearly heard a call of the Western meadowlark to the east, then once again in the brush to the north. Was it possible for the birdsong to drift above the currents of the strong wind and make itself heard to this passing vessel? Perhaps, if only to drive home the lesson Read More

Preface and Grace

Painting by Eileen McGann

I am touched by this shining soul who has written a piece in response to my journey of rape and forgiveness. Honestly, I feel embraced by God after reading Lona’s introspective narrative and poem — a supernatural support I suppose I’ve been seeking ever since writing about that nightmare, the maddening twelve-year healing process, and releasing it to the world; maybe even back to the fateful night itself. I, just one more lost sheep under a fractured and beautiful sky.
So much love to you, Lona Gynt.

Scattered thoughts made a little more random

in Memorium_001 Sometimes the very angels weep, perhaps that is what they mostly do.

Editor’s Note:  (meow) This post starts pleasantly enough, but I need to warn you that it might be a trigger of sadness or anxiety for victims of abuse, assault, or rape.

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Preface:  Hello this is HarveyCat, Lona’s sometime Bodyguard, Conscience, Accountant, Therapist, Public Relations Coordinator, and Editor.  On a late night this last week I was somewhat discomfited because Lona was about 2 hours late in delivering the usual ration of kibble.  I know I give her a hard time about not rendering the proper obsequiousness  to my regal presence, but she really is pretty reliable with the victuals, so even I had to turn my head away from my favorite toasty warm avian surveillance post and see what is going on with her.  (This is not easy to do in the springtime, the air has been filled with…

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Open Carry


In a dream a friend carried his baby on his back and pointed a DP-12 shotgun at me, I didn’t laugh enough at one of his jokes or because that’s just what is done in these days of deconstruction.
Conflict resolution doesn’t mean what it used to.
Right to bear arms doesn’t mean what it used to.
Friendship doesn’t mean what it used to. Read More

Ascension Will Not Be Televised

Art by Angel Boligán

What is the purpose of governments? They all begin as conquistadors — gangs impeding the free will of others. There is no room for ‘putting the needs of others before your own’ in the current system. Even wearing the guise of ever-glorified democracy, one is reinforced to exercise the ego to its fullest. We as a collective body then become a reflection of our selfish desires and our slipshod intellects, leaving compassion and virtue buried in the dust: inevitably a warring nation, particularly among our own members. Conquistadors of our own hearts.

Is it conceivable for you, individually, to set aside your own irrelevant and redundant politics and ask, “What is best for my neighbor?” And then proceed sans fanfare and gloss, Read More

Sister

Photography by Summer Murdock

“Leave the kids with Dad. You’ll be more fun without them.”

I just don’t get it. Have you been letting the Beyoncés of the world get to you? You, once on wisdom’s path, now believing pride is power is a person’s worth. The pedestal trap. Read More

Salt (in the Wound)

Painting by Elena Katsyura

What did you learn in school today, the bored mom asked her teenage son at the dinner table
not looking up from her phone
not noticing quiet tears falling on shuffled peas.

How to multiply polynomials, conjugate in the subjunctive, how violently sudden the last gasp of air comes to the bullet-holed classmate, how it feels to be expendable, grieving, and let down all at once. That was never on the syllabus or the glossy website. Forget being fruitful and multiplying when we don’t even know what X is. Forget wishing and hoping when we shed (others’) blood for the correct version of hypothetical. We are willing to (let someone else) die for what we are (not) willing to sacrifice. Don’t ever tell me to be bold again if this is what it looks like.  Read More

Ignite

Amaya, 2007

You who have lived many layers of lifetimes overlying just one body. The serious kid who took pride in her father — and her mother, for granted. The college girl with once a head of “dreamy blonde” highlights who spent her restaurant paycheck on $220 Versace sunglasses, a tank of gas, and a bottle of Bordeaux. The fervent penitent who sought God within church walls… Read More

Lyrical Love: Starless


“Starless and bible-black” is a phrase the prog-rock band King Crimson borrowed from the Dylan Thomas play, Under Milk Wood. The song was written in 1974 by the band’s bassist, John Wetton, and appeared as the last track on the band’s last ever album, Red. Read More