Reverb 10 ~ The big Catch Up Round Up of 2010

My friends, I have fallen far behind, but I am not giving up! My Reverb10 posts continue. 

December 16 – Friendship.

How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

(Author: Martha Mihalick)

 This one was hard for me because I have so many friends who change me. I am blessed to know such incredible people, deep people who live in ways that are inspiring and challenging. The friendship of the people in my community teaches me new things daily.

However, today I am thinking of one friend in particular- my friend Leaf. She is a beautiful Aussie girl who lives here in India, though she lives much farther north than me. She is one of the strongest women I have ever met, but what is really in her that changes me is something different. Somehow, when we are together I feel like the best, deepest, most creative parts of me come out to play. Something in her calls them out of me. I love the way she sees things. When she sees them, I see them more clearly. She is a true soul sister, and I'm very excited because though we haven't seen each other in a year, next week I will see her again.


December 17 – Lesson Learned.

What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

(Author: Tara Weaver)


I think I'm finally learning how to read myself. I've been living in spurts and ebbs for a long time, pushing way too hard and doing way too much and then crashing down hard. This year I've been focusing on finding the rest I need before I crash, and the beautiful thing is that I think it's really working! 

Things in community are not always fun and games and it's been a bit rough around here for the last couple of weeks (though beautiful, too). Yesterday I took stock and realized it had been a difficult day for me. Emotional, needing deep wisdom. It was my day to cook the huge community lunch and I cleaned my kitchen for hours afterwards, Chinua was at band practice all day, he came home to grab his guitar and go worship with some friends on the beach, and then came home to grab another instrument to practice again. There were difficulties which took a lot of energy and emotion to resolve.  So instead of getting more things done after the kids went to bed, I retreated to my own bed with a book and some homemade eggnog. (Julie made eggnog! By herself! With her hands!) And this morning I have energy and I can look myself in the face. Lesson learned, I'll try to keep it going.


December 18 – Try.

What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it?

(Author: Kaileen Elise)

I have started working on my second novel. I would like to try to get the first draft done this year. I would also like to try hula-hooping, and go to a class here with my daughter. I would like to write and illustrate a children's book. Well, if I go any further it just gets ridiculous.

In 2010 I tried a writer's conference, which was amazing. 

December 19 – Healing.

What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?

(Author: Leonie Allan)

 The biggest wound in my life (the one that still makes me cry when I talk about it) came from some hard community stuff that happened in 2007. I still need healing on that one. Healing this year has come in every grace-filled relationship, every bit of compassion sent towards me, every time I said no and didn't hate myself for it, every cup of chai and hour of talking and laughter.

It comes to me when Chrys pulls out her henna and I see her making beautiful designs on people, when we sit and eat together, when Jacob is tightening his drum on my porch, when the kids are playing in the yard. When I see Cate and Leafy chatting about superheroes, when I swim with Miriam and we sit on the beach and play with sand, when guests come over, when they tell us that they have found love here. And healing comes most of all when I see Chinua performing, playing music that pulls everyone in the room in, that shouts love in different languages. When I see him doing what he was made to do. In grace. I will continue to seek grace. To show it and receive it.

December 20 – Beyond Avoidance.

What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)

(Author: Jake Nickell)

We should have gone to Detroit to visit Chinua's family, but finances kept us from it. This hurts me everyday. I feel that on the whole I could do a much better job of keeping in touch with our dear, beautiful family. 

I will, I will!

December 21 – Future Self.

Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?)

(Author: Jenny Blake)

To myself now, from five years in the future:


  • Remember to exercise.
  • Go on long walks.
  • Swim.
  • Write everyday.
  • That novel is going to be good, go for it!
  • Kid A is thirteen now! Treasure him at eight! Likewise with the others!
  • Live in the moment.


And to myself ten years ago.

"Girl, use your time more wisely, you won't have it forever! And be a lot easier on yourself. And don't sweat the small stuff with Chinua." 

December 22 – Travel

How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?

(Author: Tara Hunt)

By car, by bus, by plane. By scooter, by taxi, by ferry. I traveled on freeways and highways and dirt roads. Through gates and villages and on a boat in a canal. I walked and jogged.

In 2011 I would like to travel to South America. I would also like to learn to ride a motorcycle.

December 23 – New Name

Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?

(Author: Becca Wilcott)

My name would be Timothy, because that is the name of the main character in my new novel, and I would like to really know what it is like to be him.

Okay, for real... I don't know. Maybe I would like to be Moonlight, just to know what it's like to have a Rainbow name. 

I do like Rachel. And I like Rae. And I love Rae Rae.

December 24 Prompt – Everything’s OK

What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

(Author: Kate Inglis)


 I think every moment that I receive miraculous gifts from God in times when I am not sure how things will work out.  There was a moment in California this year when I needed refreshing so badly, and my friend Christy took me in and cared for me. I have moments like that with my parents and wow, so many people, and God uses them to let me know that I can keep on going.

December 25 – Photo – a present to yourself

Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.

(Author: Tracey Clark)

This is revealing my horrible photo organization.

I really can't find where the photos are and Chinua is not here for tech support, but here's a recent one that I love. It's not only of me, but I do love it. My friend Chrys shot it when she and Cate and Julie and I were headed for the capital, Panjim, which is about an hour and a half driving distance away. We were on our scooters and we had stopped to fill up with gas. It reveals adventure and friendship, I think. As well as a certain Mad Max quality.


December 26 – Soul Food

What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?

(Author: Elise Marie Collins)


Oh, my my my. What did I not eat this year?

First of all, we have great cooks here, we take turns cooking our big lunch and everyday I'm eating food with love in it. Nourishing, healthy. I mean, it was already good enough and then Shlomy came to live with us. The Vegan Chef extraordinaire.

Also, I went to Thailand for two weeks. Enough said.

And then to Tj and Mark's ranch where they fattened us up. Wow, food from the garden, harvested meat from their ranch. Chicken soup with fresh chicken. Amazing. Soul-nourishing.

I ate a lot of kale in Santa Cruz. That was yummy. 

And food at your mom's house is always the best.

December 27 – Ordinary Joy

Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

(Author: Brené Brown)


I think one might have been yesterday afternoon. I was washing piles of dishes. I had made a beautiful lunch and the mint in the fruit salad had worked out well. (Who knew that mint and pineapple would go so well together?) There were rumblings of trouble, but feeding people made me happy and I had the simple physical work of washing dishes to keep me standing in my feet. I listened to music, scrubbed and washed, polished and thought about nothing but the present. 


Whew! The big Catch Up Round Up has now concluded. If you stuck through to the end you get a cyber pat on the back.

Reverb 10 ~ Five Minutes

December 15 – 5 Minutes.

Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.

(Author: Patti Digh)

Flowers, every one I've seen, every arrangement, every circle of jasmine. The sky yesterday that had cleared of all its haze, crystal clear blue with the green green leaves of the trees. The tiny bird's nest that was in my climbing plant when we arrived this year.

Solo in every moment, the airplane ride to Canada in the spring. The moment of seeing my parents, the big hugs. Every moment with them.

Hunter, my sweet new niece. Watching her mama take care of her, newborn head smell. Warm cuddles. Vancouver in a warm fall. My brother a new father. In Victoria, my sister constructing a log house out of driftwood on the beach.

The writing conference: a week of reading and writing and talking about writing. This I still visit in my daydreams.

All the road trips, our dear van, flowers at the ranch, kids in the hot tub, wedding in Oregon, picnics of whatever we can scrounge up. Coffee parties in the morning, visits with old friends.

A walk with my grandfather- we clambered over rocks like he was only sixty.

Every bite of Thai food that I've ever had.

Sitting outside with my kids under the moon during a power cut because it was brighter out there.

I can't stop at five minutes, my mind keeps going. I don't want to forget any of it- it's been a beautiful year.

Here's another exercise I did on "I don't want to forget."

Reverb 10 ~ Wisdom

December 10 – Wisdom

Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

(Author: Susannah Conway)

The wisest I was this year was every time I chose to trust God.

Rather than muddle and fret it out myself.

Also, every time I remembered that I too am a little child.



It always worked out well for me.


Reverb 10 ~ Beautifully Different

Wait a minute- How'd I get so behind?

Falling down on the job.

December 8 – Beautifully Different.


Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

(Author: Karen Walrond)




That's the first thing that comes to mind.

The second is this:

I am woefully oversensitive. Every impression seems enormous. I pick up on too many things. I feel tension underneath the surface. I notice every piece of litter, of mess. I often feel scared or offended by what people are saying. If I see a man stumble in the street it makes me cry. I question everything. In the U.S. the freeway was enough to have me in my bed with blankets over my head. Why are we all driving in these boxes? Why aren't we talking to each other?

I have often wished to be more impervious. I have often wished to be made of stronger stuff. Something not so bendable.

However, I see flowers in the cracks, tiny plants growing in the wall. I see a kind grandmother touch her grandbaby's chin, I see a frog peering at me when I open my back door. I see an egret on a water buffalo's back, I notice when the gypsies get to town, I see my neighbor standing in the sun in her backyard, I see how lovely she is. I see stories, I see stories everywhere.

I am a writer. I see words and stories, and my woeful sensitivity makes me this way and I am thankful for it.