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Tag: spirituality

Politics, Fragility and the Divine

The other day I was on the PATH train between Newport and Grove Street, roughly a five-minute ride for those not familiar. A young man came into the car, said he was from North Carolina and struggling to feed his family, so he’d decided to share the gift God gave him, his voice. He proceeded to sing a Christian song. Absorbed in my own thoughts en route to a teaching gig, I barely looked up, but his rendition was lovely. When he was done, he bowed his head and said in prayer, “Dear Lord, I know I’m not the...

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On ‘Belief’ and Believing

Before tuning in to the “Belief” series on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), I went to the website and saw this question: What do you believe? Readers could choose to answer in three words and add an image. I was drawn to the exercise and after some thought I wrote this: Life. Is. Magic. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. That’s how I felt after writing it and adding my photo behind it. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. **** As I watch this series, I am at a crossroads in my life. I can feel my own trepidation, but overriding it is this excitement. A freelance writer since...

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A Poet Reaches My Soul

There is a point in The Belle of Amherst — an off-Broadway play in which poet Emily Dickinson is brought alive by the compelling Joely Richardson — where she describes her experience at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary (as it was known then). The girls were divided into three groups – Christian, Hope, and No Hope. Dickinson dryly notes that she was the leader of the latter group. I fell in love with her right then. Because here’s the thing. I saw an ad in The New York Times for the play and instantly sent an email to my friend...

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Just a Typical Judgment Day

It’s a day like any other in the place we all pass over to when we leave this life. What we as mere earthlings might call Judgment Day. For the sake of perpetuating at least part of a familiar story, I’m going to keep St. Peter in charge at the snazzy front entrance as events unfold. The first person to step up is 57-year-old Anna. She’s smiling that smile of those that arrive believing they’re a shoe-in. St. Peter knows the expression well. Anna: Hello, St. Peter. My goodness, I’m so happy to meet you. St. Peter: Hello, Anna....

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Reflections on Sandy and Life’s Disasters

A while ago a friend reviewed my book proposal and made some pointed, helpful observations and suggestions. I incorporated almost all of them. But there was one that sent me into a deeper place of thinking. In the proposal I make note of the fact that the memoir begins two weeks before 9/11 and that that day had a profound impact on the entire trajectory of my life (and hence the book) from there. My friend felt it crossed a line to “use” 9/11 to “sell” my book. I am so glad she went there, as it was a...

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