The Climax of a Real Story

The climax of a real story is always movinggrowing upgraduationtruelovemarriagebecoming a mothergetting the kids to bed so you can finally sit down for the eveninghitting send to the publisher after a decade of writinggetting the kitchen clean after breakfast In stories, there is one climax. And then there is the hope of sustained joy.There isn’t…

Thoughts on the Pandemic

Hello, my name is Mackenzie Chester. I am the mother of eight young children, and I am humbly asking you to please stop the spread of this virus. For the ones who cannot fight it off on their own, I am asking you to please do whatever you can for the weak. We are in…

Hope on the Inhale

hope on the inhaleafter the gut-punchthe diagnosis, bleak prognosislook into the mirrorbut your eyes can’t focuson any beauty but what’s lost hopeon the inhalein the breaking of headlinesthat beat on the shoreline, the rising of feartidesthat pull you back into despair hopeon the inhaleafter the deep sighafter the long cryafter the fists-raised-why hopeon the inhaleafter…

I Stand in This Breath of My Life

I am alive. I’m trying to let that sink in. I inherited the unfinished sketchbook of a beloved art professor who passed away last spring. Flipping through the pages this morning, I see how alike we are in our interactions with the blank pages–line drawings, quotation marks surrounding deep theological ideas and questions, to-do lists,…

Broken Open-Hearted Love

Yesterday I learned that a dear friend is dying.  There is no time to visit.  No time to wrap up loose ends.  This news just rips it all back open–that wound that I thought was nearly healed.  The blow from my fall where I realized that death is actually a part of the human story….

Embracing This Breath

The perfect beauty of this morning actually hurts me.  As I steal a quiet hour in my little garden with a cup of coffee, the world saturated in green, trees in bloom, birdsong, the first signs of new life coming up in my raised beds… My heart aches.  The unabashed brilliance of life.  It stings….

The Daily Turn #7: Human

After a long day ofrealizing I am human–Meeting and failing to meetneeds that rise likeGreat ocean wavesand fall and break andpull everything underwith a force that coulddrown you.How insignificant I seem,standing in their wake–looking out fromthe blistering shoreto where the golden horizondrops off the edge of the world.You could never swim there if you tried….