Mental Toughness, Girl Scout Badges, and Du’as …

My mother had no tolerance for my crying.

“If anyone looks at Anjuelle, she cries,” was how she described me.

She wanted to instill in me a mental toughness–what she had.

I was not going for it.

And so I cried.

I took

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Of Narrative, Scenes of a Life, and Brimming With Fear …

In that a memoir, and the structure of any narrative, consists of scenes, I must write various scenes of my life, those that most depict my suffering for which I offer forgiveness and hold compassion for my mother.

This is hard. Not simply because I am writing of my mother, and about myself. The challenge lies in my lack of certainty, the ambiguity of my mother’s actions, and thus my ambivalence.

Perhaps what

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Of Tasmit, Nebo and Gatekeepers …

Our youngest daughter was born under the astrological sign, Pisces. Alan Oken says of Pisces, “It had been called the most misunderstood sign of the zodiac [addressing] the finite consciousness of man and the infinite consciousness of the universe

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Of Companionship, Black and Blue, and The Buddhist Monk’s Pyre …

by PINOY PHOTOGRAPHER I can only imagine what the months following my father’s death felt like for my mother.  Though she had always worked as an elementary school teacher and made her own money, she must have missed my father’s companionship. They had long and routine conversations despite the fact that she regularly criticized him. […]

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Of My Mother, Black Limousines and The Day I Married …

My mother was proud the July afternoon I married. The day before Independence Day, July 3rd, 1982, I marched down the aisle of the church in which my mother and her mother had been faithful members.

Though I had not joined the congregation I attended services. I had chosen membership with my father’s church. The decision had been simple enough. Couples much like my parents comprised the congregations of both churches.

The town in which the two churches existed, where my mother had grown up was

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