I seek refuge in the quiet.
I know that’s not easy to do these days.
I also know that it’s a luxury.

Outside of the window, as I write, is a wind blowing through the bare branches of the Natchez Trace. I remember when I first moved home, I would sleep with this window open. In the early morning I would awake to see deer and other early morning creatures ruffling around the fallen pine straw.

I thought of it as a gift.

Lately, this has been a theme. This morning I woke up and read an article about a Native American who spoke about his ancestors and their relationship to silence and space. How before they would speak, they would be silent as if not to waste any words on another’s behalf. When there was a loss of a presence or when there was conflict, a time of silence was taken. Not because there was a loss of something to say, but as a space to honor the other person, and yourself.

They would do the same while being in the wild — though they didn’t call it wild. They called it nature. Or at least their word for it. It was a harmony of sorts. When it became too cold, they would not get angry, but adapt to nature. They understood that it was a force they couldn’t change, and decided to move forward with the season, rather than revolt and create noise.

I think it is okay to feel overwhelmed with all the noise and distraction. Sometimes I assume I live a different lifestyle where I need a quiet space to reconnect, while others can move with all the noise so much easier. I realize kids have a lot to do with this, so I speak only on my particular plain.

But it is in the quiet that the world gets softer. My world calms and I am able to connect better with you.


I read Christopher Kimball’s piece in this month’s Cook’s Illustrated about people living off the grid and being alone. I am aware of the differences of being lonely and being alone. He spoke about being content where you are. Whether a still pond deep in a wood, or with a cutting board at your waste, diving into a recipe.

I am okay with being alone. Very seldom do I actually feel lonely. I know loneliness is our greatest poverty here. Even with all the noise and distractions, this world, especially now, can be a very lonely place.

Over the years I’ve collected and dropped things. I’ve created a tiny life and I also gave it all away. I’ve seen heaven and I’ve felt a depth of hell with the pain of losing a person. Sometimes, the quiet has been my undoing. It is, like we always say, about balance.

So in this season, I am working hard to carve out a space for myself. I feel my world moving quickly, and I want to live in the quiet, as well as the noise. But also, I want to recognize my neighbor or the person working beside me. They deserve me as my best.

While they may question my intentional need for simplicity, and my unusual quiet and gentleness — I do it for me and I do it for them.

Because this space is sacred, as are my bones that resonate in this gift of a world.

And you?

you might as well be the face of God.

my weighty ghosts.


I’m tired.

I’m tired in different ways.

And I’m still angry, on and off, most days. I live quietly. I clean my own dishes. I am aware of the volume of the music I play in my room. I am overly thankful towards people who take care of me. Whether that is a friend or the cashier at Taco Bell. I am apologetic if I seem to take more than I require.

I think I’m angry that I have to take a few steps back from where I want to be.

I was excited that I was moving into a life that felt good with my personality. Sorta quiet. Settled. In love. Hopeful. Challenging. Meaningful. Comfortable. Ah yes, comfortable. The thing I used to be against. Thinking God didn’t want me to be comfortable. That being comfortable meant you were abandoning the poor and downtrodden. Maybe I am. Shit, I know I am. (Am I?)

But what am I to do.

I cook for people.

I do dishes. I mop floors.

I try to be good. I know I am good. I am light, though I am filled with them weighty ghosts.

There are times when living in community is nice. Dinner, being one. Being near another person, in all its simplicity is nice.

Having to fight to get rid of the “pee rug” that sits near the toilet. Those things should never exist. Men, you know better.

But that is what my life is, about now. A far, far cry from anything horrible, I realize.

Don’t get me started on the state of things. I feel so much tension in this world. The state of our government and planet is enough to make me sink to my knees, though I do too much of that these days.

I feel bad, sometimes. For my roommate whose room is close. Some mornings, I sit in this big brown chair and laugh, other times, I am overwhelmed and sniffling and babbling. I must seem like a train wreck. But I think, deep down, I am okay.

There is a great purpose within. I don’t know what I’ll be doing. I am not promised anything. What I do have, is some good people in my life. The ones that have stuck around to lift me up, that is.

I suppose you reap what you sow, anyhow. Maybe it’s my fault. So be it.

And Hemingway said to write clear and hard about what hurts.

So today, this is what hurts.


I realize this might seem vulnerable. In fact, it is. I am aware that this is not the kind of person I used to be. When you thought you had me pinned down with words like, “quiet and shy and sweet”.

That’s okay. You were calling it as you saw it. I am aware the world can see these words, if they want. I’ve been doing this for a long time. So it shouldn’t be a shock to anyone.

But as I write this, my eyes are heavy, and I’ll be hefting myself onto my bed, that still concaves on either side. I guess that is one of my ghosts.

It is okay, though.

It is there to remind me of a presence,

of someone I once knew.