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


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


Of Arrows, Psyche, and Moments of Empathy, Grace and Redemption…

The outset of the Greek myth of Eros and Psyche, shows Eros leaning over the sleeping mortal, Psyche, and fervently prepared to strike Psyche with one of his arrows and create a wound that will command her to fall in love with a beast.

Eros’s mother, Aphrodite sent him on this mission out of her jealousy of the beautiful, young Psyche.

And yet something about Psyche and/or her beauty evoked sorrow in Eros.

A silent knowing moved between them even with Psyche asleep and her eyes closed.

Perhaps he saw himself, weak and driven at the merciless hand of his mother, Aphrodite’s less than virtuous and ethical desires.

Though Eros is careful and quiet,


Introspection, Thought and Nascent Creations…

Recently I’ve been helping my high school teenager with the story they are writing. Now that school has ended and summer vacation has begun they are spending more time writing on their work.

It is wonderful to watch them pour their energy in passion into the project.

Doing so revives wistful memories of when I began writing nearly two decades ago.

Recalling my first attempts at writing a novel, brings to mind not simply the excitement and angst at setting out accomplish such a great feat.

I doubt we would have succeeded had most of us who have accomplished this goal understood the full nature of our undertaking and what it would and has required.

And so it has been with care and caution in choosing my words and responses that have and sought to nurture my child’s passion when they have sought my guidance and consultat


Of Envy, Doubt, and Still More Risks…

Following crisis, the protagonist must choose, decide and act. Will she or he return to business as usual, keeping secret what they have learned, or will they share it with others?

Will they share the healing they have undergone with others, or will she or he choose the safe path of saying little or nothing about the internal changes that have reshaped them?

Risks come with sharing the good news of our survival of any upheaval or time of broad sweeping changes. We face the possibility of those we tell refusing to believe us.

Those who do may grow envious, and then exploit the doubts still others hold and turn who groups of people against us.


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