Apologies for all the email notifications!

My apologies for flooding subscribers’ inboxes this afternoon. Had been trying to figure out how to bring over old posts from my former website and, in doing so, inadvertently sent out notifications for each of these! Oy vey! Hope your Sunday is good and I trust we’ll figure out better ways to manage all of this going forward.

today in America

I’m currently watching live footage from Washington, D.C. as women have gathered right outside Mitch McConnell’s office, shouting things like “believe survivors!” and “KavaNO!” and “Be on the right side of history or your name will live in infamy!” I am thankful for their witness and wish to see and hear them and to stand in solidarity with them. Continue reading “today in America”

Befriending Darkness

August 17, 2018

A friend asked me recently what it looks like to befriend the silence/darkness that I referred to in my previous post. Through the process of grief it has at times felt like an impossibility. When our hearts break, seeing life beyond the pain is a struggle, to say the least. In the depths of it, grief asks us to not turn away from the pain, but to really see it, feel it, name it. Grief can often feel nothing like a “befriending”–more like all-out battle or, on the other hand, absolute defeat. We don’t enter (or get thrust into) the dark spaces/times in our lives and automatically see the potential for light on the other side. Walking in the dark usually involves a good deal of flailing and all efforts to get out of there as fast as we can. Sometimes we can escape the dark by all sorts of theological acrobatics or simply by denial or avoidance. But the dark creeps up on us and I’m coming to learn, little by little, that the dark comes not with a desire to spoil my life, but with an invitation to enter and trust something larger than me, something larger even than the darkness itself. I don’t know exactly when it began to shift for me – from battle to trust, from struggle to a more friendly acceptance (all journeys I’m still navigating). Continue reading “Befriending Darkness”

A Year Later: How Can the Heart Describe?

This is something that I wrote back in February…

February 23, 2018

It’s hard letting go – more than I thought.

And if the truth be told, I’m a pillar of salt.

I’m a pillar of salt for every time that it took another fleeting glance,

another long last look.

How can the mind transcend, how can the heart describe?

We light a candle every day.

I ask the question even when the why seems hollow

and breathe the silence in that usually follows.

I am the cup, mended and washed.

I am the true container for all that I’ve lost.

And all that I’ve lost and gathered again

is only what hangs in the air when the music ends.

How can the mind transcend, how can the heart describe?

We light a candle every day.

I ask the question even when the why seems hollow

and breathe the silence in that usually follows.

And now and then are visitations.

To have and hold for hard but true.

How many times I had to ask the thing that I already knew.

He said “my horizon is getting closer to me.

I need you to look beyond and tell me what you see”

Here’s what I see but I need what you know.”

Out on the curve of the earth there’s a hope that won’t let go.

How can the mind transcend, how can the heart describe?

We light a candle every day.

I ask the question even when the why seems hollow

and breathe the silence in that usually follows.

–Carrie Newcomer, “Visitation” (listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9lqUqjyIIg)

It’s been nearly a year since we stopped our efforts at fertility treatments, hoping to grow our family, longing to fill a hole that has been redefined over and over these past years as we have had to adjust our hopes and, let’s face it, our assumptions about how family would unfold for us. For the past year or more I’ve tried to figure out how to describe my heart, to put into words deep emotion, lingering pain, grief, guilt all mixed with hope and doubt, anger and disappointment. How can the heart describe? Perhaps only in fumbling, incomplete ways that change day to day—that, ever so slowly, by some grace way beyond oneself, shape a way forward—the lighting of a candle everyday. Continue reading “A Year Later: How Can the Heart Describe?”

Returning

The following first appeared at my old blog site (racheleppmiller.wordpress.com), written August 17, 2018.

It’s been nearly 5 years since I’ve written anything on this blog. I’m not sure I’ll ever be someone who maintains a regular writing discipline (still trying to figure out if I might ever have enough to say!), but the nudge to write does not go away and so, like with so many things in life, I am going to take a first step to start without knowing whether or not it will lead to something. Continue reading “Returning”