This, above all:

This, above all: To be God's best for The Coach and for Anna

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Begin again

I have ink-stained fingers.
On this lazy Sunday afternoon, while Hubby and child rest from the week's labors, I take this time to recharge: Why do I want to write?

When I told my mother I was abandoning law practice for writing (and teaching), she mourned, "I did not raise you to be a writer." Writing, for her, was a hobby, something I could do on weekends, on my free time, when I had finished with everything else more important, like earning a living. She thought that I was being too indulgent.

I could not give her--or myself--any easy answers.

Writing connects me to parts of myself buried by deadlines or harassed by daily cares. It shapes thoughts that defy form. I find the words that hide in my heart; by this I relive or grieve moments. My life, sometimes painfully, falls into place. I am a fractal; I need words to find me.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Anna enjoys the breeze on Malapascua Island (March 2012)
A child kicks its legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, Do it again; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough… It is possible that God says every morning, Do it again, to the sun; and every evening, Do it again, to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike: it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. 
–G. K. Chesterton

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Woman, food and God

I understand, fully, why the first temptation to sin came in the form of food.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


I have over 50 notebooks and journals. Beautiful ones, with leather covers or thick, cream pages. They hold such promise.

They terrify me. They are too pure, too pristine, and I feel my words are not sufficient, not worthy. I have to forgive myself for marring their pages.

Today I exorcise this writing fear rooted in perfectionism. I embrace Chilton Pearce's words: "To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong."

These are my freedoms:

1. I am free to make mistakes--no apologies.
2. I do not always have grand ideas.
3. I am ordinary.
4. I commit grammatical errors.
5. I will allow my handwriting to go haywire.
6. I do not have to fill the pages.
7. I will not edit what I have handwritten.
8. I forgive myself for starting only now and am grateful for this 45th second chance.
9. I do not have to please anybody, even me.
10. Relax.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Food and writing

I start my Food Diary today, praying it will make me more mindful not just of what I invest in my body, but also of how I value myself and God’s workmanship. May this exercise strengthen my ability to say NO to what harms me. I extend this discipline to my writing and pray for the Spirit to gently guide me in a journey that requires more mental and spiritual calisthenics than physical.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Briefly, wondrously

Sat my butt down at a coffeeshop. Turned off my auto-guilt mode and put my mombligations on standby. Brought a book on editing fiction and Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Laptop, ready. Coffee, hot. Soul, squashed by a run-in. I was glad for Hubby, who had reached out for my hand and told me to write, to not let a bad afternoon get in the way of writing.

I love you, Hubby.

You too, Oscar Wao. Because the story I had been agonizing over sounds a little better for my having read about you. You see, there’s this story I’ve been wanting to write. It has an incredible premise and a kickass first paragraph. Even I want to read it. But the story just doesn’t fly. The characters are cardboard. This story is in its third iteration, and it’s still as dry as day-old pizza. I haven’t touched it in years. But you make me want to finish it. You–made on paper and of a writer’s dreams–are alive, the way the heart of a book is. Yours is a story that makes me want to create another. To me that’s the best kind.