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Boot of +10 Depression

Painting of yellow boot, © Katarina Stenstedt

Early this year I had a short episode of almost-but-not-quite depression, and it arrived along with an image of what happens for me during the worst of those times, which hasn’t happened for almost 20 years: A giant boot descends and plants itself on my chest, and I’m unable to move or negotiate. It’s enormous, it’s simply there, and it’s […]

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Bless These Hands

O maker of the garden, hold these hands Give them the patience that they need to press the tiny seeds into the dirt and wait … wait … for new life to show God, you turn a burial into a seed’s new chance at life You draw us from the darkness to the light O life within the garden, help […]

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If I repair a little of myself

“…Those wounds stay with you, and you turn them into a language and a purpose.” Gesturing toward the band onstage, he said, “We’re repairmen—repairmen with a toolbox. If I repair a little of myself, I’ll repair a little of you. That’s the job.” —Bruce Springsteen, as quoted in The New Yorker.* When my aunt Marjorie was dying of lung cancer […]

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How these things are forgotten

In “The Bowl of Roses” (full text below), the poet Rilke spends eight lines painting an ugly picture. And then: But now you know how these things are forgotten: for here before you stands a bowl full of roses… Thus begin sixty-four exquisite lines of instruction on how these things are forgotten. Eight lines of discarded gazes and pure hate […]

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The snare

Ps. 124:7b …the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. I imagine that when snared animals are set free, if their wounds are not mortal, they bolt into the forest as fast as they can go. Hurt, but free. Once in a while these injured creatures (the ones inside of me, anyway) come shyly out of the forest, hoping […]

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