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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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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Wherever I Go: An Open Letter to L’Arche

L'Arche* friends, I miss walking beside you through the world. I miss holding your hand, Cassandra**, and how your fingernails always dug into my skin. Holding on tight helped you to balance, so I'd leave them there until I had to -- ever so gently -- pry them away. We'd re-grip, but a few steps later, your nails would dig in again. I'd sigh, maybe, but mostly I wouldn't mind the crescent moons left behind. They were imprints of trust. You'd ask me to take you out ... for tea, for sweets, for a break from routine. Because life was ...
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Feeling Down and Discouraged? Look Into a Different Mirror

It's all too easy to get down on ourselves. Sometimes, we look in the mirror and see only negatives. We see every mistake, every time we didn't take courage. We see so many ways that we could improve, but we can't see how far we've come. We can't see how much we have to offer now, in this moment. When I get in that state of mind, I think about my friend Leo*. During my time at L'Arche**, I served as Leo's one-on-one accompanier. I was responsible for everything from his toothpaste to his bank account balance. Springfield, 2008 ...
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We, the Prodigals: What it Means to Be Lost & Found

There are few terrors worse that the feeling that you've lost someone you love. This much was clear to me on that summer night in 2008. From my perch in the passenger seat, I scanned the sidewalks as best I could, reminding myself to breathe. Everyone was looking, even the police. We'd find her. But we didn't know that, really. Cassandra* had wandered away in the late afternoon, and now it was night. Aileen, my friend and fellow L'Arche** assistant, was in the driver's seat. She had to focus on piloting the van, but I could tell that she was ...
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School Lunches (and the Path of Liberation)

In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott says that, if you're not sure what to write, you can start with school lunches. And so today I am remembering the sound of crinkling brown bags, and the insecurity of youth. Lunch was a litmus test. Would you fit in? Were you acceptable? Lunchtime at Vassar (much less stress) I remember being harangued in elementary school having whole-grain bread on my sandwiches when white bread was all the rage. One girl would say, "Ew, what are those weird things in your bread? Are they bugs?!" She was referring to sunflower seeds, ...
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In the Silence That Follows: A Love Story

My dear friend Brooke recently wrote, “I want to listen to what I really want to be working on, what I really want to be writing, where I really want to be spending my energy … and then do that.” This resonated with me, because I've been having trouble listening lately. And when I am having difficulty listening, I am most in need of guidance. Authentic listening is a lot more demanding than it sounds. It asks that you stop and be still. And in the terrifying silence that follows, it asks that you open your heart to what you ...
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The Dance of Disconnection (And Some New Moves)

You’ve probably had this happen to you. Coffee & connections, 2012. Photo Credit: Sarah Bayot You see a person you love after an extended time apart. It's wonderful to reunite. You feel so fortunate to have this friendship; you’re sure you’ll keep in touch. And then you go home, back to your everyday life, and you don’t call them for months. This isn’t something you do on purpose. It’s just that one day you wake up and realize that you're disconnected, despite your good intentions. At this point, you have a few options. You can: A) Shrug off ...
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So Much to Celebrate: Thoughts on A Wish Come Clear’s Second Anniversary

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Here's what I'd like to share with you today: 1. A tremendous amount of gratitude. The launch of my new Kindle Single*, I Was a Stranger to Beauty, has been an amazing experience. I'm so thankful to have released this book with ThinkPiece Publishing; Adam Wahlberg and his team have done a phenomenal job. (And remember, sales support a great cause too: 5% of the proceeds from the first 30 days go to L'Arche DC.) And thanks to your support, the Single debuted at #3 in the Special Needs Memoirs and Special Needs Ebooks ...
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