The Poisonwood Bible

Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible

Don’t try to make life a mathematics problem with yourself in the center and everything coming out equal. When you’re good, bad things can still happen.  And if you’re bad, you can still be lucky.

–Find the Poisonwood Bible on Goodreads


Cynthia Holmes


My paintings reflect my interest in nature and stories by connecting reality with the imagination.  The natural world of plants, landscape, animals, weather, people, mountains and rivers are intertwined with the stories of everyday to form a fanciful colorful painting that celebrates the journey of life.  –Cynthia Holmes


View more art by Cynthia Holmes on her website

Sometimes We Get it Right

Tara Egan


Photo by Lon Martin

As parents, we wear our guilt like a favorite pair of shoes; constantly and mindlessly. In contrast, we wear our pride like a pair of too-tight gloves; intermittently and uncomfortably.

As I’ve navigated my way through my divorce, my guilt and sense of failure has taken on a life of its own. I wonder if their path through life will be burdened by their disjointed family.  I worry that I’m not going to be good enough or strong enough to serve as both parents when The Dad isn’t here. I fear that I’m saying and doing the wrong things all. the. damn. time.

Navigating my own emotions is that much harder when I’m always trying to remain cognizant of theirs.

But then there’s a moment.  An interaction between me and one of my children that lets me know that in the midst of all this transition and heartache, I’ve done something good and beautiful and lasting.

Read the full post at Do These Kids Make Me Look Crazy


Tara Egan is a Doctor of Education (D., Ed.) in School Psychology and the owner of Charlotte Parent Coaching.  She is the author of Better Behavior for Ages 2-10: Small Miracles That Work Like Magic.



I was afar, I’m following the star
Home isn’t where you are
And everything is falling into place
And then we move again
So take the curve and move along
Until we’re gone, we’re moving on


More by Travis

Catch What You Can

Jean Garrigue

The thing to do is try for that sweet skin
One gets by staying deep inside a thing.
The image that I have is that of fruit—
The stone within the plum or some such pith
As keeps the slender sphere both firm and sound.
Stay with me, mountain flowers I saw
And battering moth against a wind-dark rock,
Stay with me till you build me all around
The honey and the clove I thought to taste
If lingering long enough I lived and got
Your intangible wild essence in my heart.
And whether that’s by sight or thought
Or staying deep inside an aerial shed
Till imagination makes the heart-leaf vine
Out of damned bald rock, I cannot guess.
The game is worth the candle if there’s flame.


Learn more about Jean Garrigue

Bird by Bird

Anne Lamott

Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Bird by Bird

Perfectionism means that you try desperately not to leave so much mess to clean up.  But clutter and mess show us that life is being lived.  Clutter is wonderfully fertile ground – you can still discover new treasures under all those piles, clean things up, edit things out, fix things, get a grip. Tidiness suggests that something is as good as it’s going to get.  Tidiness makes me think of held breath, of suspended animation, while writing needs to breathe and move.

–From Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Grandfather Tree of Knowledge

Shonto Begay

Grandfather Tree of Knowlege

We say “nizhonigoo bil iina”, the beauty that you live with, the beauty that you live by, the beauty upon which you base your life.  For me, beauty is anything that stirs the soul, the emotion, whether it be grief, anger, joy, or melancholia.  –Shonto Begay

Shonto Begay is a Navajo artist, children’s book illustrator and author.  His book, Navajo: Visions and Voices Across the Mesa, can be found on Goodreads.

View more works by Shonto Begay on his website.

Nobody Just Cleans Toilets

Adrian Fogelin

Most of us have better selves
disguised as cleaning ladies.

Fresh out of art school I got a job as the illustrator for The Baltimore Zoo.

Orgie Kimball worked there too, and had for many years.  When I met her she was a stooped and tired woman who wore a powder blue smock with cigarettes in the pocket and a shiny wig that had faded to a brownish-lavender. When asked what she did, her response was blunt.  ”I clean toilets.”

But one day, bird keeper, Leon Dunn, said, “Orgie, tell Adrian what you used to do…”

She sighed and waved a hand. “Oh, back in the day I was a blues singer over to The Club Orleans.” She reached inside her smock and pulled out the wallet she kept tucked under her bra strap.  She flapped it open and handed it to me so I could see a photo taken when she was big and brassy and all-that.

“I used to sing with Billie Holiday,” she said, her voice gaining strength. “Billie always wore them flowers in her hair.” A finger touched the photo, stroking the ostrich plume in hair that was now covered by the unfortunate wig. I noticed that she squared her shoulders. “Billie’s flowers would go flat on her halfway through the night, but my feathers would last!”

I learned from Orgie Kimball that you never know who you are talking to, and anyone I’ve gotten to know since only has reinforced that notion.  Most of us have better selves disguised as cleaning ladies.

Nobody just cleans toilets.


–Reposted with permission from Slow Dance Journal Blog

Adrian Fogelin is a published author and a singer for the band Hot Tamale


Who Says You Can’t Go Home

Bon Jovi

I went as far as I could, I tried to find a new face
There isn’t one of these lines that I would erase
I lived a million miles of memories on that road
With every step I take I know that I’m not alone


More music by Bon Jovi

Healing Quote of the Day

Reaching for a heart

Photo by Ashley Rose

Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. Leo Tolstoy