Saturday, October 30, 2010


Revisiting the dictionary I grew up with, I inventory the artifacts between its pages. It’s a child’s book, illustrated with whimsy and deliberation. A little forest of coral hangs out in the Cs: a tiny inky heart of stalky reaching. Even then I collected paper. Tags. Inhabitants of a house of words: a bookmark I made in the fifth grade for a boy I had a crush on. A progress report from that same year. A birthday note in spidery script from an elderly maiden aunt. (I’d liked the way she made her capital L’s, how they swung out so much wider than every other letter.) A blue ribbon for a picture I took of my old gray cat, reclining on flagstones next to boxed petunias. A nine-year-old’s Christmas wish list (a telescope, some Smarties in my stocking, a set of watercolors, a blank book I’d seen with an owl on the front). An incoherent note from a girl I barely knew. A thimbleful of purple confetti stuck with glitter and glue to the definition of “trellis.” Someone’s name, in orange crayon on black construction paper, smudged.

Laura Sorrells
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Georgia, United States
I live at the edge of the forest in a little town in the north Georgia mountains. I teach sixth grade Language Arts and am writing a memoir of sorts about family, spirituality, and narrative. I am also exploring a possible writing project having to do with contemporary lay contemplative experience and how it might be informed by the Desert Fathers and Mothers of early Christianity. I am a relatively recent convert to Roman Catholicism and an admirer of Pope Francis, Leonardo Boff, Joan Chittister, and Richard Rohr. I'm a Lay Associate of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Georgia. I am interested in indigenous cultures, narratives, and spirituality, especially how these can inform my spirituality as a lay contemplative. I write, read, take pictures, play around with creating ephemera from paper and cloth and other organic things. I cook, hike, watch wildlife, and collect random bits of interesting oddness, both tangible and abstract. I am a seer of smallness and a caretaker of ridiculous minutiae. If you want, e-mail me at or