Getting to Know You (& What You Didn’t Know About Me)

Dear readers, I'd like to get to know you better. I've been posting here for nearly three years now (!), and I love writing to you. So I'd like to say thank you, and hear more about you. Would you leave a comment on this post, or send me an email? Just something simple. Your name, how you came to be here, why you read A Wish Come Clear. If you want to go deeper: what's going on in your life? What weighs on your heart? What do you dream about? What do you wish you could talk about, but ...
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The Work That’s Never Done

There's one item in our house that always catches people's eyes. The item in question? A photo collage that my husband Jonathan received when we moved away from the L'Arche community where we met. Farewell collages are a tradition at L'Arche DC; they feature the faces of every person that was a part of L'Arche during the years one lived there. In Jonathan's case, that means five years of faces, five years of relationships. When we first moved, I hesitated to display the collage. The goodbye was still raw; there were (are) so many people we love and miss. And ...
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Announcing: A New Documentary (Hula Skirts Ahead)

Dear friends, It's Tuesday afternoon, and I'm camped out in the guest room of my dear friends' home. I've been traveling for two weeks, from an Alabama lake house to a Pittsburgh conference center and everywhere in between. There are plenty of stories to be told, but today, I'd like to share a short documentary with you. Longtime A Wish Come Clear readers may recall a mention or two of this film; it's been in process for two years. In 2011, Edwin Mah -- an American University professor and independent filmmaker -- wrote to me and asked if I'd be ...
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Leave Me Alone … And Please Come Find Me

When I was in high school, I lied to my mother. Don't lie to mamma ... especially since you have the same smile. One night, when she asked me if I’d completed my homework, I told her I had. But I'd left one assignment unfinished, and it was due the next day. I didn’t want to miss my favorite TV show of the moment (Buffy or Felicity?), and I knew the rule: no TV until your homework is done. So I made a plan. I fibbed and felt bad about it (but not so bad that I didn't ...
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Coming Home: The Liberation I Found at L’Arche

Happy Memorial Day, U.S. readers! This article was originally published in America, February 11, 2013, and is reprinted with the permission of America Press, Inc., americamagazine.org. I remember exactly where I was standing. It was in a small hallway at a L’Arche home in Washington, D.C., when I met my friend and housemate Pedro. At the time, I was visiting L’Arche for a series of interviews. I had not yet received an official job offer, but even so, I knew that I would be coming to live and work there. I could feel it in my bones; this was where ...
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For You, If You Don’t Want to Get Out of Bed in the Morning

It's a bright, beautiful day, but I'm not really seeing it. The world looks bleak. A bombing at the Boston Marathon, a city-wide manhunt, ongoing violence and terrorism the world over ... the hate seems very heavy, and the love feather-light. Part of me wishes I could be a small child again, blessedly unaware of all this. And what is the deepest wish of a child but to be safe, held, home? *** Photo Credit: Brian A. Taylor Photography And that calls a story to mind. To begin, I should tell you that I co-led the opening of ...
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2 Guest Posts + 2 New Book Formats = 4 Reasons to Smile

Hello & happy Monday! Today, I'd like to share a few exciting announcements with you. First, I have a new guest post up at MissMinimalist.com! (Longtime readers may remember my first guest post there 2 years ago as well - how time flies!) Miss Minimalist is all about “living a beautiful life with less stuff.” Author Francine Jay is a gracious, articulate writer, and her site is an excellent resource for simplicity-seekers. Today's new post is, Real Life Minimalist Update: Caroline McGraw. Welcome to A Wish Come Clear, readers from Miss Minimalist! Thank you for visiting! I'd like to invite ...
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All Too Familiar: A Story for National Siblings Day

One Tuesday night this winter, I was babysitting my friends’ children, three-year-old Eliza* and one-year-old Mitchell.* I watch them on a weekly basis, so I have a working knowledge of their routines and habits. But on that particular Tuesday, Eliza did something I didn’t expect. When she noticed her brother Mitchell getting a little fussy around bedtime, she stepped closer to him and looked into his eyes. He grew still. Then she stepped away, her hands partially covering her face. And then … Older sister. (Used with permission.) “Ah BOO!” Eliza exclaimed, moving her hands away from her ...
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Reflecting Light: Wishes for World Autism Awareness Day

It was just another visit to the Home Depot in the weeks before World Autism Awareness Day. Since we're renovating our house, my husband visits the store on a near-daily basis. We were laughing about paint colors ("'Manhattan Mist'?! That's just ... toxic!") when I saw them. The blue light bulbs. I didn't have to read the signs. I've volunteered with Autism Speaks, and written for their blog as well. I knew what the bulbs were for: Light It Up Blue for Autism Awareness. When I saw that display, I had this sliding sensation in the pit of my stomach; ...
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Renovations of the Home & Heart: A Tale of Transformation

Miguel*, one of my friends from L'Arche**, was in the ICU last week. Whenever something like this happens -- and despite the wonderful, highly specialized care he receives, it happens several times a year -- my heart aches. It always seems colossally, brutally unfair, these illnesses and hospitalizations. It reminds me of truths I'd rather not remember: that I am not in control, that my friends at L'Arche are growing older, that I cannot know how much more time they -- or any of us -- have left. There's a terrible powerlessness that comes with knowing: if we choose love, ...
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