Oily feathers

Sometimes these periods of silence come to me. I'm not sure what to say.

I keep thinking about those pelicans and how beautiful they were when they dove. Just a straight plummet, down into the water, and they pop back up and shake themselves off: no big deal. Whatever, water off my back.

Oily feathers, that's what I need.

When I was young I wished that I had brown skin and long straight black hair. I don't wish that anymore, but I find myself wishing that I had a happy-go-lucky personality. Do those exist? Because for those of us over here, it's hard to believe. You just laugh? Enjoy life? You don't have to compose a small story about your sandwich to enjoy it? Or draw a picture of it, or dip it in wax and feathers and set it on fire?

I need a lot of trimmings in order to get out of my mind.

Here's one trimming that really, really helps.

Are you ready? It's a good one.


I'll say it again: Community. Oh, sweet togetherness, normalcy, cooking together and eating plums and standing barefoot, shifting from foot to foot. The comforting moments in this strange summer have been solitude and peace coupled with the right amount of community. I need space, it's true. I can't think with all those other voices in my head. But I love to be with friends who have purpose and love filling them up and causing them to overflow.

If it's not a normal part of your life, I strongly encourage you to make one day in the week that you have a communal dinner. It could be with one other family, or two, or three. Take turns cooking or cook together. You will look forward to it, and you may even dread it, but you will always be glad that you made the effort. Jesus ate with people. People with very little, all around the world, continue living and working because of the strong connections of their communities.

Tomorrow I drive off into the East for the Writing Conference. The book and the conference have been occupying the 32% of my psyche that is left over when the kids are done with it. I'm nervous and excited. I have nothing to say, my friends. I know about as much as a newborn baby.

Or a pelican, leaning in for the perfect dive.