Author Archive: Julia

Whoever you are

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on… Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over announcing your place in the family of things.    — Mary Oliver …

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Go beyond

“…novels go beyond simulating reality to give readers an experience unavailable off the page: the opportunity to enter fully into other people’s thoughts and feelings..Reading great literature, it has long been averred, enlarges and improves us as human beings. Brain science shows this claim is truer than we imagined” — Annie Murphy Paul Even if …

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Thoughts into words

“How wonderful it is to be able to write someone a letter! To feel like conveying your thoughts to a person, to sit at your desk and pick up a pen, to put your thoughts into words like this is truly marvelous.” ― Haruki Murakami A short time ago I was answering Patsy’s comment and ended …

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Regular phases

 “…bereavement is not the truncation of married love, but one of its regular phases– like the honeymoon. What we want is to live our marriage well and faithfully through that phase too. If it hurts (and it certainly will) we accept the pains as a necessary part of this phase…We were one flesh. Now that …

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To look forward

“I didn’t have particular baseball heroes in those days…I didn’t relate to baseball players, even though I played the game myself, because I knew I had nothing to look forward to. There was no hope for me to play in the big leagues back then because I was black.” — Hank Aaron Wow. Talk about defeating …

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Something possible

“Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order…a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.” — Kakuzō Okakura It seems to me …

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Someone’s home

“Whenever you go on a trip to visit foreign lands or distant places, remember that they are all someone’s home and backyard.” — Vera Nazarian I love staying in bed and breakfast inns, especially if the hosts live in or very near the home where the guests stay. I don’t go for the pricey or frilly …

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The garden of the spirit

“The ground I tend sustains me in early summer, but the garden of the spirit is the place I go when the wind howls…Raised in the mind’s eye, nurtured by the faithful composting of orange rinds and tea leaves and ideas, it is finally the wintergarden that produces the true flowering, the saving vision.” — Louise …

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The metaphor holds

“It has become cliché to talk about faith as a journey, and yet the metaphor holds. Scripture doesn’t speak of people who found God. Scripture speaks of people who walked with God. This is a keep-moving, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other, who-knows-what’s-next deal, and you never exactly arrive.” — Rachel Held Evans The metaphor does hold, on so many levels. I could talk …

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See from a bike

“It is curious that with the advent of the automobile and the airplane, the bicycle is still with us. Perhaps people like the world they can see from a bike…without leaving behind clouds of choking exhaust, without leaving behind so much as a footstep.” — Gurdon S. Leete While I was in Oxford, I found …

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Sometimes we do

Sometimes Sometimes things don’t go, after all, from bad to worse.  Some years, muscadel faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail, sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well. A people sometimes will step back from war; elect an honest man, decide they care enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor. …

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How ordinary

“You know that the eyes of love aren’t blind, they are wide open…you realize how ordinary it is to love the beautiful, and how beautiful it is to love the ordinary.”  — Marius Vieth When I travel, I find that I enjoy the everyday neighborhoods and local groceries, libraries and post offices almost as much …

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Something you have to learn

“Nobody is born smiling – being happy in this world is something you have to learn.” — Ashleigh Brilliant How true! And as with all kinds of education, some people seem naturally better at learning happiness than others. A few are exceptionally gifted in this way, and others are what we might call “learning disabled” when …

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A thousand tongues

“There is an air about it, resonant of joy and hope: it speaks with a thousand tongues to the heart: it waves its mighty shadow over the imagination…and points with prophetic fingers to the sky.” — William Hazlitt, describing Oxford This was my third visit to Oxford, but the first time I stayed more than three …

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To transform

“He had a way of using all that he read and experienced to transform the way that he lived. There was no such thing as purely academic knowledge for him…” — John Bremer As it happens, I’m taking a break from working hard on a “purely academic” paper on C. S. Lewis that’s due in …

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The bigger, more beautiful picture

“When we do the hard, intimate work of friendship, we bring a little more of the divine into daily life.  We get to remind one another about the bigger, more beautiful picture that we can’t always see from where we are.”– Shauna Niequist Okay, so imagine you are traveling across several states to northern Virginia, …

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The tightrope

“A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life.” — William Arthur Ward Hello everyone (those of you who are still with us). I have missed you immeasurably, and just couldn’t go another day without posting. Or maybe it’s partly that I need some …

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The whole world, 2017

“If the whole world were put into one scale, and my mother in the other, the whole world would kick the beam.”  — Henry Bickersteth, Lord Langdale Hello friends, Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging comments. I have appreciated each one, and will respond as soon as I am able. I wrote the …

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Too much rain

If anyone asks you how I am Just say I’m doin’ fine. If you will do that for me, I’ll do the same for you sometime. And if anyone asks you where I’ve gone Just say I’m down the line. I don’t want my friends to see me like this. Maybe some other time. Too …

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The color green

“When I look out the window, I exhale a prayer of thanks for the color green…for the simple acts of faith like planting a garden that helped see us through another spring, another summer.” — Barbara Kingsolver Many times over the years I have felt deep gratitude for the color green, especially as it reappears each …

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The imaginary friend

“Writing is a job, a talent, but it’s also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.” ― Ann Patchett I think most everyone who writes can identify with this quote. But for those of us who blog, the line takes on a magnificent blur …

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You won’t be the same

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what …

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Spring always finds a way

“…spring always finds a way to turn even the coldest winter into a field of green and flowers and new life.” — Charlotte Eriksson Probably there are few spots of ground in this hemisphere that have been more neglected in the past three years than our once-lovely azalea garden in the corner of our York …

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A sunny spirit (2017)

“Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.” — Mark Twain Dear friends, I thank you for your patience and your kind comments– which I look forward to answering as soon as I can catch my …

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Alchemy in sorrow (2017)

“Sorrow fully accepted brings its own gifts. For there is alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmitted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness.” — Pearl S. Buck Dear readers, as always when I take even a short break, I find myself far behind on urgent tasks. In addition …

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