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Thursday
Dec192013

Library Whispers

We love the idea of a room full of shelves, but surely the books want to be read, to be out in the world making connections. Do they whisper to the reader who gets lost between the shelves and then between the pages? And do the readers whisper back with each turn of the page? As a reader myself, I know how books have changed me. So likewise,does a book come back to the shelf somehow changed by the person who read it?

I have to believe that it does. A book that has been read and loved by a long chain of readers must carry that love with it until it simply falls apart.

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Thursday
Dec192013

Fruitcake Evangelism

Fruitcake lovers tend to be quiet whereas fruitcake haters tend to be loud, but most fruitcake haters I know have never had good fruitcake (and some have never had any fruitcake at all). So it seems that makers of fruitcake either must either hide their wares under a bushel (no!) or share them with evangelical fervor. Thus, I have decided to become an evangelist for fruitcake. Because everyone (especially my brother-in-law who requires more prayer, for he has yet to refrain from making disparaging remarks while the rest of us groan and ask for more) needs to know how wonderful it is.

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Thursday
Dec052013

Presence

Ive been sleeping in her bed with her, nervous at listening to her uneven breathing and feeling her body radiate heat, but more nervous to be in the other room. Throughout the night, she says, Mama?and asks for water, more blankets, fewer blankets, or the ice pack that fell on the floor. She is constantly aware of my presence. Mama?I love to hear her voice asking for me, assuming I am there. Most of all, I love her arm reaching to me in her sleep, not needing anything. Reaching because, even as she dreams, she dreams of me.

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Thursday
Dec052013

An Astonishing Work

My work is wrapped up in the self I knock against every ordinary day. It is in my home. It is there with me on vacation. It is in breathing and being; in worrying less and wondering more; in the act of loving (or cooking or cleaning or playing or resting), rather than in analyzing how well I’m doing it. Don’t get me wrong; my work is hard work (as is yours). But it is very simple. It is right in front of me. 

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Friday
Nov152013

Becoming a Songwriter, Part 2

The power of place cannot be underestimated. This is why artists leave one place and move to another. The new place likely comes with a storya story that tells the artist,If you want to be a songwriter, this is the place to do it. This is the place that others have done the very thing you want to do. This is a place rich in stories its a history-making place.When young songwriters tell me they are moving to Nashville, its not because of the Tennessee Titans or our famous meat and three cuisine. 

Places, and the people that inhabit places, are never neutral in what they give birth to. People and place are meaning makers.

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