Thursday, August 20, 2015

an older post where the font went ghostly

Sometimes there’s a hum that hovers across and over this patch of land, like cicadas in August or the wheeze of a strange, busted harmonica a little boy might find chucked in with his toys, a mystery song waiting to happen, caught in holes between tin. But tonight the stillness separates and parses the air, like mist rising over a pond early in the morning. Just beyond the cow pasture the old log cabin has on its new face, its two chimneys stouter now and its windows immaculate and maybe even a little impenetrable. I miss its crumbling edges, the triangle of air at the bottom of the front left-hand window. And I am not sure I want the old stone wall around the little cemetery to be restored. I like the mossy moats that separate its stones. There is even talk of cutting down the cedar tree by the cemetery entrance. Its lopsided coniferous grace is a benediction to me, though, a familiar sentinel over the years, when I’ve come to pay my respects to Laura Sorrells Smith, born 1878, died 1905. Last time I was here I stacked a small cairn of stones from the pinewoods by her marker. History is palpable here, a prayer for continuity and awareness, a blessing into kin. The broken places show it best. Their shabby beauty needs the gentle tending that honors their splits and rifts, that lets their fractured beauty be seen by those who need their stories and their lonesome strength. I’ll miss them if they’re fixed. For now I don’t mind moving tousles of pinestraw away from the shapes of angels and the curves of my family name.

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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