riding the inspire-share-inspire cycle

colourful yoyos at a market stall

After switching my college major from art to science I had a lot of catching up to do, like learning how to spelling fluoride correctly and trying to understand chemistry. By my third try at Chemistry 101, its new language started to make sense. Sort of. My brow furrowed in concentration over the textbook filled with symbols and math. … When I finally passed the class, I was shocked to … Read more

church on the front porch

a nice place for a church

Dad and I often talk on the phone, getting into some surprisingly deep topics, like love and war and religion. (Whew!) He inspires me more and more as time goes on. … Dad lives in rural Oklahoma and turned 80 this year, but he continues to blow my mind. He’s got a Facebook page … And he goes to church on the front porch … Read more

journey journal | airport

plane seat view

Friday, May 3 … 5:01 a.m. For the first time in my life, I leap out of bed before 8 a.m. I’m picking up my best friend at the airport today! Andrea’s been flying all night to get from Washington State to Frankfurt, Germany, where I’ll meet her in a few hours, after … Read more

if you stick a nettle up your nose

nettles on the right

Years ago, my then-boyfriend and I went on a hike on the west coast of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. He’d never laid eyes on the Pacific Ocean, so off we went to take a look. Along the way, I stuck a nettle up my nose. … Well, yes, it did hurt. A lot. It was an honest amateur botanist’s mistake – or so I tell myself, even though I have a degree that included spending a fair number of hours … Read more

trading memories

firetruck memories in a doorway in basel

Imagine sitting around a campfire at the edge of a village of tents. We stare into the fire, following the flames, breathing slowly. Once in a while, someone will stand up to nudge a log further into the heat. After the sun has fully set, a voice speaks into the fire. It’s one of us, we who are sitting here together, and yet in the dim, flickering light of the fire, … Read more

uncle!

balancing rocks

Dad used to play-wrestle me and my brother on the living room carpet when we were kids. We were all friendly, but also really intense. My brother and I tried to get the best of our strong dad, who’d end up pinning us until, laughing uncontrollably from his tickle tactics, we’d shriek “Uncle! Uncle!” so he … Read more

hand-holding for writers

hand clip

Because the ways I most love to create require my hands, when my dominant hand was recently hurt, I freaked out. The problem peaked the day of a dinner hosted by a friend here in Germany. When I told the small crowd how my finger had swollen and turned purple, one of the guests, an occupational therapist, took a real interest and recommended a hand doctor she knows. … A few days later, standing at … Read more

lady chatterley's plover

lady chatterley's lover - cover

There we were, two bookish women, sitting around outdoors reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover. At some point, we got silly about it. No, we didn’t roll around in the pine needles reenacting scenes from the book. Instead, we pretended we were reading the book in an era where it was banned, and so needed to disguise the book’s cover. … Read more

threshold guardians

red doorway

Don’t let others dictate the worthiness of your challenge. Whatever your challenge looks like, it’s yours, as are your Threshold Guardians. These two tools can help you get past them. … Read more

may i please be excused?

at the table

When I close my eyes and probe deeper into the meaning of my request to please be excused, I find a childlike desire to be allowed to stop trying so hard to wait. … Read more