Thursday, April 5, 2012


noun /ˈmelənˌkälē/ 
  1. A deep, pensive, and long-lasting sadness

    Sometimes I think melancholy can be an addiction. A certain wistfulness can permeate every hour. I wonder if it is, in fact, a form of happiness, as the person who has this sadness clings to it against all evidence, while all around there is abundance, stacks of grace, like paddocks in summer. I spent years like that. Here my work is to learn to live with vulnerability, nose to nose with the world, unprotected by melancholy, not letting the weeds give me anything but the pleasure of the dignity of work. And to sit, from time to time, in the garden with nothing in my hand or head but pleasures.
    Playing with Water, A story of a garden
    Kate Llewellyn
    p. 309

    No, I don't actually think that I suffer from melancholy as defined on But as I read this section of Kate Llewellyn's Playing with Water, A story of a garden, I paused to consider her words.

    I believe that I often (and others have affirmed my thoughts on this) mis-identify my feelings and emotions--believing that I'm possibly sinking into depression or at least too much rumination.

    What is it about life experience or our busy-busy world that makes me feel guilty if I spend too many days in a row almost alone or quietly at home?

    Often, I find myself saying, "I love being at home." Shouldn't that be a virtue, rather than a character deficit?

    Still, too much alone time makes me want more, and then it is easier to sink into a tiny bit of melancholy.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    Watch Your Own Back

    What matters is what you need to satisfy this goal: Take care of yourself.

    One of the most crucial roles a parent plays is of protector--yet children of abusers need protection from parents. All these kids, to some degree, are forced to protect themselves.

    Once your father gave you the job of watching your own back, you earned the right to keep the job. That means you're free to go into any event involving your dad, no matter how significant, with an eye to what's best for you. Guilt-free.

    So. The question becomes, what's best for you? Or, if it's useful to think of it this way, which choice is least likely to ripen into lasting regret?

    You have an idea which choice will have the lowest emotional cost to you. That's the one I advise you to make.
    Carolyn Hax at

    WOW! No one has ever said it better, or more clearly. Thank you Carolyn Hax.

    Monday, February 6, 2012


    I've mentioned before, I'm from a family of praying women. And, the lives of each family member has certainly been blessed by the consistency of those prayers.

    Many of my memories of Grandma Korta center around her prayers. We were expected to participate in (lengthy and on your knees) family devotions when we visited. First there would be a Bible passage read aloud, and then Grandpa, Grandma, Aunt Vivian, and I would move to our knees for prayers--each in-turn.

    And, if Grandma was nowhere to be seen, you could almost always find her in her closet, on her knees in front of the vanity bench pictured above. I inherited it, by request, back in the early 1970s and eventually had friends reupholster it in a beautiful fabric, which I still love about 20 years later.

    I'm a praying mother and grandmother. I don't think I have the attention span that my fore-mothers had, but I do try to remember each of my loved ones in prayer most days. There is power in prayer. I've the stories to prove it.